Sabah succumbed to last-gasp goal

A goal in the second minute of injury time from Harimau Muda’s Abdul Shukor Jusoh ensured another three points for the Young Tigers in their second meeting in 4 days.

In their last meeting on Friday, Harimau Muda also scored in the injury time but that was their second goal to seal off a 2-0 win. Last night however was a real sucker punch for the home team after holding the visitors scoreless for 90 minutes.

Sabah should have only themselves to blame. Even after playing more than a dozen game together under the guidance of Iraqi Wathiq Naji, the team that took the pitch last night still played a game with avoidable  errors, indecisiveness from the strikeforce right down to the defence.

Possession was easily lost, 1 such fine example was in the first half. Sabah was taking a corner when the ball was sent right to the center of the pitch, from the corner flag. So maybe there should be a Rhino player taking the ball and tries to ram it from outside the box.

The problem was that no player from the Sabah team was receiving the ball and the visitors managed to break the “attacking” play. Probably communication was missing. They can’t blame any noise from the fans as the stadium was virtually empty.

Though the presence of re-signed player Joey Ryan Gundok and Zaykiel Leong was there to improve the squad, their match fitness need to be questioned as one can see both of them gasping for air in the last 10 minutes. Even Zainizam also showed sign of tiredness. All 3 of them played the full 90 minutes.

It is this main weakness that caused Sabah to lose all 3 points last night, their match fitness.

Sabah’s next game is againts the winless bottom team, SDMM Kepala Batas away. Sabah should have no problem disposing this semi-amateur team off. If Sabah loses, then SAFA should press the panic button like their life depends on it.

After Sabah’s 14th game, the league will take a break and matches will resume on 19th June 2009.

Fans in the state however need not to worry, as Queensland North Fury are coming to town with their big signing Robbie Fowler. Sabah will be boosted by the appearance of former Rhino Robbie Gaspar and 2 national players. Read more about it here.

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