ERIC DELIVERS

Source : New SabahTimes

 

KOTA KINABALU: Arkadiusz Jerzy Zarlzynski or better known as Eric among his team-mates, scored twice, but his two-goal feat was not good enough to put Sabah back to winning ways as they were held to a two-all draw by Johor PG in a Premier League challenge at the Likas Stadium last night.

In fact they have themselves to blame as their slack defending allowed the visiting Johor PG to score the equaliser in injury time.

Eric put Sabah into the lead with what could be the fastest goal in the league when his dipping shot from about 35 metres went straight into the back of the Johor PG net only after less than 35 seconds of play.

But Tembo Masauso put Johor PG on level terms with a well-taken free-kick in the 34th minute before Eric restored Sabah’s lead five minutes from time.

Mohd Hamzani Omar scored the second goal for Johor PG in injury time for the well-deserved one point for the visitors.

Playing without two key players in striker-in-chief Charles Obi and influential midfielder Rosdin Wasli, both due to suspension, Sabah looked a bit rusty throughout the game and obviously it could be because this was the first competitive game in about 10 days or so.

Their last game was the 1-0 victory over Pahang on March 3.

However, they managed to take an early lead, thanks to a brilliant strike by Eric. In the ninth minute, Johor PG had their first look at the Sabah goalmouth, but Tembo’s curling shot from just outside the penalty box went wide.

And in the 21st minute, Johor PG had thought they had found the much needed equaliser as Aiyajuyoni had already headed the ball into the back of the Sabah net after receiving a perfect cross from Ahmad Norphapiza Bashri from the left, but fortunately for Sabah he was ruled off side.

But Johor PG finally found the equaliser when Tembo curled the free-kick inside the Sabah D-box into the back of the Sabah net after Prince Eboagwu Etuew was found to have fouled him.

Sabah started the second half with a minor set-back when their key man at the backline Ahmad Tharmini Saiban could not take to the field due to injury.

Zainizam Marjan came in for him.

And Johor PG were the early aggressors with Ahmad Norphapiza the first to test Jeeva. But his 55th minute attempt hit the side netting.

Then Prince saw his header cleared off the line by Ahmad Norphapiza before Jasazrin’s powerful drive was blocked by Jeeva.

Bobby Gonzalez who started the match in the absence of Obi finally had his first attempt, but unfortunately his shot from just outside the box was palmed away by his former teammate – Syamsul Sabtu, who is now Johor PG No 1 custodian.

After that Chow Chee Wing had his attempt from inside the box twice blocked by the Johor FC defenders before Eric finally restored Sabah’s lead with a controversial goal (in the 85th minute).

It all started from a corner taken by Chow. During a melee, the ball found Ronny at the far post before he centred it and found Eric. During this time, Syamsul was lying on the ground. However, the referee Ibrahim Muhammad waved play on and Eric’s grounder went straight into the net.

But as the match headed for a Sabah victory, Mohd Hamzani scored the equaliser to deny Sabah their first win (in the league) in four games.

In added time, Zainizam had the chance to score the winner for Sabah, but unfortunately his close range shot was palmed away for a fruitless corner by Syamsul.

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