KOTA KINABALU: Sabahawks Juniors were inflicted with their first defeat of the season after being edged 1-0 by Kedah in a President’s Cup Group A challenge at the Darul Aman Stadium in Alor Setar yesterday. The visiting Sabahawks Juniors conceded the goal at the half-hour mark.
Assistant coach Burhan Ajui when contacted said that it was a game that could have gone either way. He said some lapse of concentration at their backline saw them concede the solitary strike of the day, as the hapless custodian Nikyus Saiddatul could not do much in stopping the ball from going into the back of his net.
“Against the run of play, they managed to capitalise on the half chances they created. We fought hard after that, but it was difficult because despite playing at home, Kedah played a cautious game and were pretty much compact at the backline.
“Even then, we still managed to create numerous chances, but unfortunately we failed to translate them into goals,” said Burhan.
He said their hope for a fightback became more difficult when Zul Mansshah Aling was given the marching orders in the 68th minute for a straight red card offence. Zul, who replaced the injured Maxsius Musa in the 26th minute, was tackled from behind by a Kedah defender lost his cool and retaliated.
Meanwhile, team manager Juil Nuatim, who did not make it to Kedah as he had to attend a meeting, hopes that the defeat will not shatter the morale in the team.
“It is a pity that we finally lost a game, but I want the players to take it as a lesson and make a quick rebound. We are still at the top of the table, and now our main objective is to stay there (top),” said Juil.
However, Sabahawks Juniors’ five-point lead has been slashed to two points following the defeat.They will take on KL Sime Darby at the Likas Stadium on Thursday (April 19).
Source: News Sabah Times 13 April 2012