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Sabah Rhinos climb back to second spot


14th March, 2018


KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Rhinos’ head coach Jelius Ating was satisfied with a share of the spoils after his side drew 1-1 with MISC-MIFA in a Premier League tie at the Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya Stadium on Monday night. Jelius has every reason to be happy to settle for a draw.

After all, as he admitted, it was not their best game, and no thanks to the condition of the field, which was muddy and slippery, due to heavy rain prior to the tie.

The one point gained, not only managed to help them keep their unbeaten record intact, but also saw them move back to second in the 12-team standings on nine points in the bag, by unseating UiTM FC on better goal difference.

“With the muddy and water-logged pitch, it was difficult for us to play a passing game, which we used to do in our previous matches.

“We were forced to make long passes, and it did not help our course. So I’m quite pleased with the draw because at least we managed to bring home one point on the road,” said Jelius, when contacted yesterday.

The match that was delayed for 35 minutes due to heavy rain and lightning saw the Sabah Rhinos take a 16th-minute lead through its Puerto Rico ace Pito Ramos. However, their joy was short-lived as MISC-MIFA scored the leveller 13 minutes later.

Thinagaran Baskaran lurked from behind to head home the equaliser from an ensuing corner kick in the 29th minute for the hosts.

Meanwhile, Jelius said he is giving his charges a three-day break as the Premier League is taking a two-week break or so.

They would resume their challenge by taking on UiTM FC at home on March 30.

“We will return home today and will continue our training for two days before we give them a three-day break. We will try to use the remaining days to rectify our weaknesses ahead of our date against UiTM FC,” Jelius said. After five matches into the season, Sabah Rhinos have done relatively well.

They recorded two wins and three draws.

Felda United FC are leading the pack with a perfect run after winning all their opening five matches. They have opened up a six-point lead at the top of the standings.

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