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 Sports

Juniors in pole position

8th May, 2018

By FRANCIS XAVIER

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Junior Rhinos went top of the standings in the President’s Cup Group A challenge after registering a 2-1 comeback win over Selangor United FC at the Selayang Municipal Council Stadium yesterday.

They would stay there at least until previous leaders Kedah play their next game against Pahang on May 14. The win also helped the Junior Rhinos virtually claim their quarter-finals berth from the group.

They stay top of the table on 37 points from 12 wins, one draw and three defeats from 16 matches played. Kedah, who played a match lesser, stay in second on 34 points. Prior to the Junior Rhinos’ win, they were top of the standings on superior goal difference.

“We are glad to claim back the top spot from Kedah. They did not play yesterday, so we now have a three-point lead, but have played a game more.

“Nevertheless, we are happy to stay top, and now we can go into the break with ease.

“I think the points (37) should be good enough to put us through into the next round. Anyway, we have four matches left to play, and I hope to seal our ticket when we play our next game against Melaka at home on July 19,” Yassin said.

The Junior Rhinos team manager added: “It was a difficult game (against Selangor United FC). The field was very slippery, and it took quite a while before we managed to settle down.”

“I would like to congratulate the players for their efforts and achieving our six-point target from these two consecutive away matches,” said Yassin.

Prior to the Selangor FC date, the Junior Rhinos had trounced Armed Forces.

The match that was delayed for 15 minutes due to bad weather saw the Junior Rhinos trailing to a 15th-minute opener by Mohamad Arrieffahmi Mohd Azam.

However, flanker Stanley Sulong levelled the scoreline for the Mohd Yassin Aman’s boys with a fine finish, five minutes later before the match was put to a halt temporarily due to the thunderstorm.

But when it resumed after 10 minutes or so, the Junior Rhinos pressed on as they looked for the lead. And they managed to create numerous chances with the best two coming from Stanley.

Unfortunately, Stanley’s shot in front of the opponents’ goalmouth sailed above the crossbar on both occasions. When the second half resumed, the visiting Junior Rhinos settled down quickly and finally scored the much-needed lead through captain Muhammad Zaki Sapri’s 50th-minute effort.

   
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