KOTA KINABALU: The Rhinos resumed their Premier League challenge with a 2-0 victory over lowly MBJB FC of Johor at the Likas Stadium last night.
It was not a pretty game but what matters most is all the three points as they kept their unbeaten run intact after three matches into the season.
Julamri Muhammad scored from the spot before assisting Alto Linus to head home for the second.
It was a scrappy first half, as both sides failed to create any decent chances.
Sabah had two half chances, but it was the visiting MBJB FC who first tested Sabah custodian Harold John through Zainodin Kasmidin who blasted a thunderous drive from the edge of the box, but fortunately for Sabah it went wide in the 8th minute.
Sabah’s first chance came in the 22nd minute when a fine run by Julamri from the left managed to set up Azrul Ejati Damsah to shoot at goal, but it went off target.
Then in the 32nd minute, a spectacular 35-metre effort from Mafry Balang could have broken the deadlock, but unfortunately the keeper Md Fadzly Abdul Hadi made a fine save to deny him the opener.
After a scoreless first half, things looked livelier in the second half and again it was the visitors who had the first chance at goal. But again they failed to convert their chance as Mohsin Abd Rahman saw his point blank header go wide.
In the 64th minute, Sabah finally found the much needed goal as Julamri scored from the spot after Azrul Ejati was brought down inside the box.
Then four minutes later, Julamri turned provider when his cross from the left side of the box was headed by Alto from close range to finally break his duck.
MBJB FC could have reduced the deficit five minutes from time when Harold brought down Md Farid Ideris in a one-on-one situation, but Harold made amends by diving to the right side to save Zainodin’s spot kick.