KOTA KINABALU: Sabah kicked off their Premier League 2010 challenge with a 0-0 stalemate against KL Felda United FC at the Likas Stadium last night.
The presence of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman, who is also the Sabah FA President, failed to give the home side a winning performance as they had to share the spoils against the club side from the national capital.
There were not many anxious moments from both sides as they failed to create any decent chances at each other’s goalmouths.
Newly appointed head coach Gary Philips started the game with an all-local line-up skippered by defender Md Reithuddin Awang Embran before bringing in their sole local import Md Farid Ideris later in the second half.
But the first 45 minutes was a drab affair with Sabah’s best chance coming at the half hour mark when leading marksman Bobby Gonzales unleashed a grounder from inside the box that went wide.
Then in the 43rd minute midfielder Shahrul Azhar Ture ballooned the ball over the crossbar. On the stroke of half time, Shahrul had a close call when he managed to side step a defender before fumbling that eventually saw his attempt go wide.
KL Felda United also had several attempts at Sabah’s goalmouth with former international Hasmawi Hassan’s effort going wide, while ex-Rhino Chow Chee Wing saw his half volley go straight into Harold John’s arms.
Sabah made a double substitution in the 63rd minute bringing in Md Farid for Alto Linus while Mafry Balang came in for Razlan Oto.
But the changes brought little impact into the game as Muhd Khaironnisam’s 75th minute effort was the only decent chance of the second half.
Introducing Mohd Farid Saibun, who replaced Radzi Mohd Hussin, failed to lift Sabah’s game.
Slightly over 1,000 fans turned up for the clash.