Kota Kinabalu: Hopes of local fans to see their team bounce back from last Friday’s away defeat to PKNS FC were shattered when Sabah was sent crashing to a 3-2 home defeat against Harimau Muda here, last night.
An early first half goal from defender Henry Parsi failed to give Sabah the impetus to go on and claim their first 2010 Premier League victory.
He struck from point blank range after connecting with Radzi Md Hussin’s corner to give the local fans something to cheer for.
But an equaliser by Harimau Muda’s Wan Zack Haikal just shortly after Parsi’s opener and another goal on the stroke of half time helped put the visiting team confidently in the lead.
Wan scored his first goal in the 8th minute after pouncing on a slip up between keeper Harold John and defender Julmari Muhamad to give Harimau Muda the equaliser.
In the 45th minute Harimau Muda went into the lead when Haziq Zikri Elias brilliantly set up the number 11 Wan Haikal to score after beating the offside trap.
The start of the second half then saw a rejuvenated Sabah team as substitutes Razlan Oto and Alto Linus brought more life into the team.
The local fans were brought to their feet in the 47th minute when they saw Alto and Md Farid Ideris play a neat one-two, which almost produced an equaliser.
The two players continued to amuse the crowd as they elusively moved the ball between Harimau Muda’s defence, ultimately scoring the equaliser in the 56th minute. The ball having come of Farid’s foot before Alto dribbled past two defenders and unleashed a shot into the top corner of the net.
It was a defensive error that gave away the game for Sabah when captain, Mohd Irfan Fazail connected with a cross from teammate Saarvindran A/L Devandran in the 69th minute.