KOTA KINABALU: Utility player Wong Sai Kong saved Sabah the blushes as he scored a controversial equaliser to eventually help Sabah end their Premier League challenge with a draw.
Sabah looked set to be embarrassed by the amateur Armed Forces side as they were trailing by one goal with only 10 minutes remaining on the clock.
But fortunately for Sabah the lanky Wong, who seemed to be in an offside position, pounced on the loose ball to score with the Armed Forces’ keeper Abdul Rahman Baba lying on the ground in pain after a clash with a Sabah player earlier on.
Armed Forces players protested, but match official – Shahrul Hasimin Othman – ignored the protest and stuck to his decision by giving Sabah the equaliser.
The one point gained saw Sabah drop a rung down to ninth placing after Shahzan Muda won their battle against T-Team 1-0 in another Premier League clash in Kuantan, Pahang.
Sabah had themselves to blame as they squandered more than half a dozen goal-scoring chances.
Zaykiel Leong, Joey Ryan Gundok and Leopold Alfonso Otong were the obvious culprits as they missed numerous chances.
Zaykiel was presented with the first opportunity, a grounder from inside the box that went inches wide of the goalpost.
Then Joey misheaded the ball from close range off a cross from Zainizam Marjan from the left side of the goalpost.
In the 37th minute, Sabah were penalised when Mohd June Azral Lalah was caught fouling an Armed Forces player inside the penalty box, with the match official awarding the spot kick to the visitors.
Venice Elphy Danny Kaya sent Sabah’s custodian Harold John the wrong way to eventually give his side the lead.
And three minutes later, Zaykiel saw his glancing header sail above the crossbar.
After the break, Sabah tried hard to fight back, but only managed to create one chance when Zainizam’s 75th minute cross found Zaykiel, who was at the heart of the Armed Forces’ goalmouth.
The lanky striker managed to connect but the Armed Forces’ custodian was there to deny him from scoring the equaliser for the hosts.
And with 10 minutes remaining, Wong spared his side from an embarrassing defeat with a controversial goal.