Source : New Sabah Times
KOTA KINABALU: Premier League new boys Armed Forces handed Sabah their first home defeat of the season after registering a slim 1-0 victory over the home side at the Likas Stadium last night.
It was Sabah-born Alphonsus Bin Michael Angian who put his State team to shame in front of their home crowd with a freak goal. The first-half substitute, who came in for his injured team-mate Mohd Hafezal Abu Hassan in the 34th minute, netted the solitary goal of the night in the 70th minute after capitalising on a defensive error at the Rhinos’ backline.
It all started from a misunderstanding between Salvester Sindeh and Ahmad Tharmini Saiban. A simple clearance by anyone of them could have saved Sabah the blushes, as there was no real danger.
Instead both players failed to clear the ball although Salvester tried to clear, but he miss kicked the ball, and this was when Alphonsus sneaked from nowhere and slammed the ball into the back of the net that also caught goalkeeper G. Jeevanatham off guard.
There was not much action in the first half, with both teams rarely having any chances at each other’s goalmouths. The visitors had the first chance to take the lead through Stanley AK James Batang when he managed to head from Mohd Hazrol Abu Hassan’s freekick from the right. Unfortunately his attempt went straight to the keeper.
Sabah’s best chance of the half came in the 21st minute. P. Rajes’ long cross managed to find Charles Obi at the far post, but the Nigerian striker’s weak header did not trouble Armed Forces’ keeper Abdul Rahman Baba.
After the break, Sabah could have taken the lead in the 68th minute when Paulus Shitaleni Shipanga had only the keeper to beat. However, the Namibian striker saw his grounder from inside the penalty box palmed away for a fruitless corner. In a rare attack, Armed Forces finally found the opener through Alphonsus.
Sabah had several chances of scoring the equaliser, but unfortunately they failed to convert their chances into goal.
The victory saw Armed Forces climb to the top of the table on seven points while Sabah dropped one rung down from seventh to eighth with a mere one point to show after three games.