RHINOS TASTE FIRST VICTORY
22 Mac 2021
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah FC overcame the odds to beat Terengganu FC 2-1 to register their first Super League win of the season tonight.
A couple of late goals in the first half from Levy Madinda and Sam Johnson ensured the full three points were achieved at the Likas Stadium, thus snapping a four-game winless streak.
And to make it even a memorable outing, the Rhinos also inflicted a first defeat of the campaign for high-flying Terengganu FC whose late fightback only produced a consolation goal from Jordan Mintah.
Head coach Kurniawan Dwi Yulianto, who was issued a stern warning after the team’s poor start, responded by starting all five of the foreign imports while veterans Bobby Gonzales and Amri Yahya settled for a place on the bench.
The teams went for the attack right from the start but despite efforts from Mohd Faiz Mohd Nasir, Makan Konate and Jordan Mintah, the visiting side just could not find the back of the net.
Sabah, on the other hand, had their best chances through overlapping defender Dendy Lowa in the 30th minute but after receiving a pass from Madinda, the former’s saw his shot turn over for a fruitless corner.
There was no stopping Sabah in their next meaningful attack and from a Saddil Ramdani’s corner, Park Tae Su saw his header hit the hand of defender Muhamad Shahrul Nizam Ros Hasni and referee Khairulazuan Kidam pointed for a penalty kick.
Madinda stepped up to calmly find the bottom left corner, beating goalkeeper Muhammad Rahadiazali Rahalim to put Sabah one-nil up in the 38th minute.
Madinda then turned provider four minutes later when after exchanging passes with Maxsius Musa, the Gabon international found Johnson with a neat pass inside the box.
Johnson the Liberian striker, made no mistake with a simple finish to double Sabah’s lead before the half time whistle was blown.
The teams re-emerged for the second period without showing any sign of slowing down and Terengganu FC missed the chance to reduce the deficit when Muhamad Nazarul Nazarith Azhar failed to make a clean contact from point blank range with the goal at his mercy.
It was Saddil’s turn in the 50th minute but his free kick just missed the target.
In the 56th minute, Terengganu FC thought they have finally made the breakthrough but Mintah, despite having the ball in the net, was disallowed for a foul on Robson.
Sabah continued to look dangerous whenever they were on the attack but Saddil and Park were unfortunate with their efforts in the 61st and 63rd minutes respectively. Terengganu FC reduced the deficit through Mintah’s lobbed effort in the 78th minute but it was mere consolation.
With the win, Sabah have now collected four points from five matches where they register one win, one draw and three losses.
The Rhinos will next face Kuala Lumpur United FC at the Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium in Cheras on April 3. - Borneo Post