Jun 5, 2012

Heartbreaking exit for Sabah

Hearbreaking exit for Sabahawks Juniors
Kota Kinabalu: It was a heartbreaking exit for Sabah as they crashed out of the President Cup after they crumbled to a 0-2 defeat at the hands of visiting Terengganu in the second leg of the quarterfinal match held here at the Likas Stadium on Monday. 

The team had only themselves to blame as they were in total control of the game but their inability to find the net cost them dearly and was punished by Terengganu in the latter part of the match. Two quick goals against the run of play saw Terengganu score from an identical spot from the left that beat Sabah keeper Andrea S Tipay at the right post.The first was scored by Md Asysham in the 84th minute while the second was converted by Syed Sobri seven minutes later.

Sabah had a chance to open the scoring in the first half with a lob by Zulmanshah Aling that beat the keeper but was cleared off the line. The opposing keeper also had an excellent game and produced several good saves to deny Sabah.

The second half saw Sabah having another sure goal twice cleared off the line which was first headed in by Zulmanshah and followed up by another looping header from Umareng Bacok. A few minutes later, Maxsius Musa unleashed a powerful strike that hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced off to safety.

The misses were huge as two minutes later, the team found themselves a goal down after a lapse of concentration by the Sabah defence allowed a Terengganu player to venture into the box which created the first opening for them.

With Sabah's players trying to regain control with their all out attacking play, another counterattack by the visiting team sealed the fate of the home team.

Coach Johnny Dominicus said after the game that he was very disappointed by the result but was proud of the players display.

"It was just unlucky that we lost. We could have scored several with the chances created by the team throughout the match. It was just not our day and I felt sorry for the boys. They have tried their best and this is football and they have to learn to take defeats as a lesson."

Team manager Juil Nuantim was also upset with the result and he said it was the same scenario as was in Terengganu where they hit the post thrice and an open goal missed.

"What can I say, it was very sad that we lost in such a way. With the chances we created, the result was unfair but sometimes in a competition the best team does not necessary win and we have got to accept that."

He called on the players not to give up and continue to train and to learn from the experience and prepare themselves for next year.

Meanwhile, the players will take a four- day break before they return for training for the Sukma Games in July.

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