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Junior Rhinos make losing start
Published on: Wednesday, May 22, 2024
By: GL Oh
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Junior Rhinos make losing start
Sabah FC’s Sahrizan Maidin (right) trying to make his way past a JDT II player during the match on Monday.
Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah FC Under-23 squad lost their Malaysia Football League (MFL) Cup season opener 0-3 to Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) II FC at Pasir Gudang City Council Stadium on Monday.

The home side coached by Juan Manuel Munoz Rodriguez featured several Malaysian Under-23 players including Fergus Tierney and Najmudin Akmal Kamal Akmal while former national player Rozaimi Abd Rahman started for Sabah FC.

Despite their dominance right from the start, the home side were unable to find a way through Sabah FC’s strong deference to find the target until the 39th minute when Gabriel Nistelrooy headed in the opener.

The setback did not deter Sabah FC and the players tried hard to draw level before Gabriel’s second in the 72nd minute followed by his third in the 79th minute that put the result beyond doubt.

Sabah FC’s head coach Johnny Dominicus admitted that they were outplayed by JDT but praised the players’ spirit for putting up a good fight.

“We all know how strong JDT II are but at least we tried to match them, and the three goals conceded were all due to our mistakes.

“Overall, it was not a very good performance but it wasn’t that bad either. The match definitely opened our eyes on the challenge ahead as we never had very tough pre-season matches before this.

“We only got to play with local teams due to cost factors, while JDT II had played with several strong opponents in the Peninsula in preparation for this season’s campaign.

“Although we didn’t get the one point we targeted, this match has taught us a very good lesson and we need to rectify our weaknesses before the coming matches,” he said after the match.

Sabah FC’s next match is against Perak FC II on May 28 at Likas Stadium.

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