The young Rhinos overcame their fumbles and nerves in the second half to defeat club side SDMM Kepala Batas of Pulau Pinang 2-0 in Likas last night.
With both teams fielding mostly new and young faces in the local football scene, the first half saw mostly stray passes and missed chances. Sabah didn’t really look dangerous in front of goal and the same thing could be said of the opponent.
Both teams had chances to score and Sabah rattled the post early on. Most of SDMM’s attack look dangerous just because Sabah’s defence were shaky and lack in confidence. The home team were lucky that their first match is againts a club side.
Half time came scoreless.
In the second half Sabah came back stronger and more organized, resulting in an early goal coming in at the 46th minute. New-comer Leopold Alphonso stamped his name as the first player to get on the scoresheet for the Rhinos this season when he pounced on the ball after a melee which the visitors couldn’t put the ball away.
With their confidence growing and the 1000 or so fans cheering them on, Sabah had more attacks but poor finishing let them down.
However in the 86th minute Zainizam Marjan killed off any hopes of shared points when he scored Sabah’s second resulting from a corner. Video of the goal is available here.
With the 3 points and most of the other matches ended with draws, Sabah found themselves on second place in the table. As it is just one game, this is nothing to shout about. Instead Sabah should focus on improving their game if they want to challenge for a place in the SuperLeague next season.
Other games from Premier League:
Harimau Muda 3-0 ATM
KL 1- 1 Proton
Selangor PKNS 0-0 Felda Utd
T-Team 0-0 Melaka
Sarawak 0-0 MPJB
Johor Pasir Gudang 0-0 Shazan (postponed)