Jul 14, 2012

SUKMA Footbal final: Perak favourites but Sabah confident

HISTORY will be made by whoever wins the Malaysia Games football gold in today's final at the Darulmakmur Stadium with Perak seen as having the edge over Sabah.

Perak are bidding to add the Malaysia Games title to their wins this year in the President's Cup and Youth Cup while Sabah, having made their first Games final, are planning to go one better.

Abu Bakar Fadzim, the Perak coach, believes his team have a date with destiny.

"We've got a team here who have been playing non-stop football for months yet have been able to produce results.

"Sabah are a tough team to beat but we want to complete the set of titles," said Abu Bakar.

Sabah coach Johny Dominicus said his players want to make up for the disappointment of exiting the President's Cup in the quarter-finals after finishing top of their group.

"The quarter-final defeat (to Terengganu) hurt, especially when we played so well to win the league (group). Perak have a good team but we don't think they are unbeatable," he said.

Perak have the most complete team at the tournament and it was not until the 4-2 semi-final win over the Federal Territories did they concede a goal.

In contrast, Sabah laboured to beat a mediocre Negri Sembilan 2-1 with Rozaimi Abdul Rahman's fine first-half stoppage-time free-kick equalising Adam Syahir's third minute opener before Leopold Alfonso Otong scored the winner six minutes on resumption.

Sabah's lack of a playmaker could prove to be their undoing whereas skipper Nurridzuan Abu Hassan, although playing on the wing, is central to Perak's moves.

Both teams feature deadly strikers (Rozaimi and Leopold for Sabah and G. Mugenthirran for Perak) while the fact that four different players scored against FT proves that Perak do not rely on individuals.

Leopold scored a hat-trick in Sabah's 3-2 win over Selangor in the quarter-finals and Rozaimi's belated arrival has added more bite to the Sabah forward line.

A cracking final is on the cards and the battle between strikers and defenders will provide for a fascinating show.

TODAY -- Final: Perak v Sabah (Darulmakmur Stadium, 8.45pm); 
Bronze: Federal Territories v Negri Sembilan (Kuantan MC 1, 8am).

News source:
New Straits Times

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