KOTA KINABALU: Sabah notched their first win in almost two months after edging Perak 2-1 in a Super League challenge at the Likas Stadium last night.
The victory was made sweeter as they shattered their opponents’ unbeaten run.
The hard fought but well deserved victory saw Sabah crawl their way back from a goal down after Mohd Shafiq Jamal put the visiting team in front with a close range header.
Substitude Zuraindey Jumai, who came in for Julamri Muhammad at the start of the second half, scored the leveller for Sabah with a first-timer before Leopold Alfonso Otong scored from a free kick that turned out to be the winner.
And if Sabah continues to play the way they did last night and keep finding the net, there is certainly light at the end of the tunnel for the Gary Phillips’ boys.
However, there will be no easy way out for them, as only consistency will see them win their relegation battle.
It was not the best of starts for Sabah as they found themselves trailing when Mohd Shafiq easily netted home after being left unmarked at the far post.
He connected with Shahrulnizam Mustafa’s freekick with a header after just 19 minutes of action played on a slippery pitch due to rain.
Three minutes into the second half break, Julamri Muhammad could have scored the leveler for Sabah but unfortunately his attempt from the edge of the six yard box hit the goalpost.
Three minutes after the break, Sabah finally found the much needed goal when Zuraindey’s first timer from six yards out defeated the hapless Perak custodian Mohd Nasril Nourdin.
Then in the 62nd minute, Leopold Alfonso Otong sent the about 3,000 crowd into frenzy when he scored from a freekick just outside the box.
Ten minutes later, Leopold could have scored his second, but this time, his attempt was cleared for a corner by the Perak custodian.
Then it was Zuraindey’s turn to score his second only to find his header cleared off the line by Khairul Izzat Jamaluddin.
Sabah created numerous chances to extend their lead late on, but none found the net.
This was only Sabah’s second victory. They remain in 13th in the 14-team standings on nine points, and victory over bottom of the table Perlis on Tuesday could see them move above the latter.