Kota Kinabalu: Sabah lost 1-2 to T-Team in the first leg of their Malaysia Cup quarterfinal tie at the Likas Stadium on Monday night. It was gifted goals for the visitors and ex-international Indra Putra Mahayudin took full advantage to net both goals and put his team in the driving seat for the return leg.
Sabah started the match in aggressive fashion and as early as in the sixth minute, K Thanaraj wasted a golden chance when he shot sky high with the goal at his mercy after a neat pass from Farid Ideris.
The first fifteen minutes was all Sabah as they parked in the visitors half but failed to find the final touch.
T-Team were only able to stamp their authority in the 16th minute when Rosdin Talib had the first shot on target but was saved by Sabah’s custodian Syed Adney Syed Hussein.
Indra was the dangerman for the visitors as he managed to escape his marker to unleash a shot in the 23rd minute that narrowly missed the post by inches.
Sabah players failed to learn the lesson as Indra again was in the thick of the action in the 34th minute when a mistake by Zuraindey Jumai allowed him to burst through the Sabah defence to slot in the first goal for T-Team.
He also had a golden chance in the dying minutes of the first half but Syed Adney was alert to clear the danger.
The capacity crowd who flooded the Likas Stadium was given a tonic when the match resumed in the second half. Barely 40 seconds after the restart Sabah were on level terms after Zainizam Matjan’s cheeky backheel in the box was met by Alto Linus and the ball rolled into the empty net.
The goal did not dampen the T-Team players and they began to dictate the game and Mohd Nor Farhan had a shot hit the post with Syed rooted to the spot.
Just when the match was destined for a draw with both players failing to make any headway, a mistake by Syed Adney in the 84th minute gifted the winning goal for T-Team.
A harmless shot was spilled by the lanky keeper allowing Indra the easiest of task to silence the crowd with his second goal of the night.
The defeat puts Sabah in a difficult position to overcome the deficit with the second leg to be played on Friday.