A heroic performance by custodian Syed Adney Syed Hussin gave the State three precious points and a huge advantage in surviving in the Super League next season.
The former national custodian made a couple of superb saves that could prove vital in the coming days as anything less than a win will be a massive battle in the prestigious League.
However, Syed Adney was in his elements in helping his side edge closer to safety.
A point will be good enough to see them escape the drop but … if the FA of Malaysia trims the League, it will be a whole new story for Sabah.
However, if the nation’s football governing body insists on reducing the number of Super League teams from 14 to 12 for the new season then Sabah will be involved in the play offs if they finish anything below ninth placing.
Whether there are changes or not, the positive thing is that Sabah still have the chance to end their season as high as in eighth placing.
But for this to happen, besides winning their final League match come July 6 against Kelantan, they must keep their fingers crossed that results elsewhere favour them.
Currently, Sabah is in 10th placing on 28 points, level with 11th placed Felda United FC, who lose out on goal difference.
Kuala Lumpur stay in 12th on 23 points while Pahang on 22. However, both Kuala Lumpur and Pahang has played a game less than Sabah and Felda.
Winning their remaining games could still see Kuala Lumpur and Pahang pip Sabah or Felda United.
But the worst case scenario for Sabah if they earn another point will be in 12th placing, no matter what the outcome of the other results is.
For now, any one of the four teams–Sabah, Felda, United FC Kuala Lumpur and Pahang, will accompany Perlis to the Premier League next season.
It was Razlan Oto’s spot kick that earned Sabah the hard earned victory. Sabah were given the penalty kick after Shahrul Azhar Ture was brought down inside the box after 20 minutes of play.
Razlan was spot on to convert his fourth goal in two matches. He netted a hat trick in the 3-0 victory over Kuala Lumpur prior to the Perlis date.
Sabah head coach Justin Ganai said they were given a torrid time by the youthful Perlis side.
He added that their opponent were in good form and dominated for much of the game, forcing them (Sabah) to defend in numbers.
“This young Perlis squad controlled the match and gave us a torrid time throughout.
“The fact we did not expose the wings contributed to our less than convincing display and Perlis with nothing to lose, threw everything at us.
“I told them not to give unnecessary pressure on themselves. Just play their normal game and see where it would take the team,” added Justin.
Justin said Syed Adney, who was standing in for Number One shot-stopper Azizon Abd Kadir who was excused due to family bereavement, was excellent throughout.
“After taking the lead, Perlis went on to dominate and lucky for us, Syed Adney was in top form…he thwarted at least four one-on-one situations.
“It could have been a different story had Perlis converted any of the chances.
“It was not an easy victory and all credit to the players, they gave their all and fought hard to return home with the three points,” said Justin.
With confidence in an all-time high, Sabah will be a thorn to League leaders Kelantan on July 6th.
All results played on the same night;
Johor 2 – 1 FC Pahang
Kedah 1-1 Negeri Sembilan
Kelantan 1 – 0 Perak
Perlis 0 – 1 Sabah
Selangor 2 – 1 FELDA
Terengganu 3 – 2 PBDKT T-Team