Source : New SabahTImes

  26th January, 2008

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah were stunned 1-0 by visiting PKNS in a Premier League tie at the Tawau Sports Complex last night. Mohd Fadil Mohd Hashim scored the solitary goal of the night in the 12th minute for the visitors before being shown the red card in the 73rd minute. It was the Rhinos’ second consecutive home defeat and third this season as they found that lady luck was shying away from them yet again. Team manager Rahman Zakaria cursed their luck for not settling for at least a point.

“We had enough chances to even win the game. I just don’t know what went wrong because we had at least two or three open chances at their goalmouth. However, we just could not convert those chances,” said a dejected Rahman. Meanwhile, the Rhinos have been given a first round bye in the FA Cup competition that kicks off next month. The 1995 champions will only begin their campaign in the second round against an unknown opponent as the draw for the second round would only be conducted after the completion of the first round.

The first round of the one-leg competition will take place on February 19 with the second round slated for March 22. The quarter-finals and the semi-finals have tentatively been fixed for April and May respectively. The final will also be held in May.

“We are glad we have been given a bye in the first round. However, there is no big advantage because this is a knockout competition, apart from giving the team enough rest for our Premier League challenge,” the Sabah FA Executive Secretary Harry Baking commented. “We just have to wait and see until the conclusion of the first round. So now our focus will still be on the Premier League,” Harry added. In the draw held in the national capital on Thursday, the reigning champions Kedah will take on club side Selangor PKNS. It is also interesting to see six Super League outfits pitted against each other in the competition that would feature 30 teams from the Super League, Premier League as well as the FAM Cup.

Among the interesting fixtures of the first round are the ties between Selangor and Brunei’s DPMM, and Johor FC and Perak. Last year’s losing finalists Perlis will face KL Plus FC, while Penang take on UPB-MyTEAM.

Negeri Sembilan will face Premier League leaders Johor Pasir Gudang while the National Under-19 squad will face Proton FC. Pahang have been drawn to meet Armed Forces while Melaka will take on FAM Cup outfit Muar Municipal Council, while Sarawak take on another FAM Cup outfit PBD Kuala Terengganu. Kelantan will take on Kuala Muda Naza.

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