Source: New SabahTimes
PRINCE ATIVIE … extended the lead one minute before the break.
KOTA KINABALU: The Rhinos are hot on the heels of Police and UPB-MyTeam as they continue their resurgence after a slow start to their Premier League challenge.
The Rhinos, who recorded a mere two wins, five draws and two defeats in the first round, chalked up their fourth consecutive victory since the start of the second round.
The 2-0 win over Armed Forces on Labour Day at the MPS Stadium in Selayang propelled the Rhinos within two points of second-placed UPB-MyTEAM, who incidentally occupy the last slot for promotion to the Super League next season.
In Tuesday’s away game action, it was the incredible Nigerian striker Charles Obi once more and his countryman Prince Ativie Guy, who scored for Sabah.
Obi, who is the Premier League’s leading scorer with 11 goals to his credit, scored the opener after 14 minutes of play before Prince Ativie extended the lead one minute before the break.
“It was not one our best games, but what is important is the three points gained from the match,” said team manager Rahman Zakaria.
“We had a few players down with fever, but they still managed to taste action. This clearly showed their dedication and commitment to the team.
“As I have said earlier, we did not play as well as we could have, but having said that, we could have won with a bigger margin as we created more than half a dozen chances.
“But I have no complaints because we all know that the players did their very best.
“Although we tend to lose our focus at times during games, it really isn’t a big problem because I’m sure the coach will be able to iron it out.
“As long as we keep on fighting, we will be there at the end of the season, but for the moment, it is our policy to take one match at a time because we are still involved in three competitions – Premier League, Malaysia Cup and FA Cup.
“We know the tight fixtures plus the travelling we have had is taking its toll on the players, but the coach is trying his best to rotate the players.
“Even though we have a small squad, I’m delighted to see that all of them are coping well with the challenges thus far.
Police, who edged Selangor PKNS 3-1 in another match, remain unshakeable at the top of the standings on 28 points, followed by UPB-MyTEAM on 25, Sabah (23 points) and Kuala Lumpur (21).
“We are almost there, so now it is important for us to keep winning,” said Rahman on their chances of realising their quest for promotion.
“No more slip ups … and that’s the order of the day for the rest of the remaining matches ahead,” he added.
Sabah next League game is against Shahzan Muda at home on May 11, which will be followed by their FA Cup quarter-final first leg clash against Perlis on May 15.
But before the two matches, Sabah will take on Pahang in a Malaysia Cup Group C tie on May 5 (on Saturday).