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Mammoth task for Tambadau

9th August, 2019


KOTA KINABALU: The 1-2 defeat to Penang on Wednesday has left the Tambadau with a mammoth task of making it into the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals.

Head coach Jelius Ating admitted they are facing an uphill task of progressing beyond the group stage after succumbing to two opening defeats.

The 2018 semi-finalists had opened their campaign with a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the defending champions Perak on Sunday.

“We will try our best to use whatever chances that are left for the team. After the two defeats, things look a little difficult for the team. And if we look at the group© it is a tough group and we are the only team that have yet to collect any points.

“However, there are another four matches more to play. But it is going to be an uphill task for the team. However, in football … for me as long as there is a chance we will fight for every chance there is.

“I hope, in the next four games, it will end well for our team,” said Jelius.

On Wednesday, Tambadau were trailing to Julian Bottaro’s ninth-minute opener. However, striker in chief Rodoljub Paunovic scored the equaliser from the spot.

They were awarded the penalty kick after the Serbian forward was fouled inside the penalty box three minutes after the break.

But Penang managed to restore the lead courtesy of Tambadau’s defender Evan Wensley’s own goal in the 73rd minute.

It all started when an attempt by Penang’s striker Anselmo Casagrande hit the leg of Evan and the ball ricocheted into his own goal.

On the defeat, Jelius said: “If we look at the game, it was a closely contested tie. Both teams created a lot of goal-scoring chances.”

“And I have praised our players because in the second half they actually played well. However, playing well doesn’t guarantee victory. The team that took their chances well would end up as winners and Penang did it albeit that they were helped by an own goal by our defender. For us, we were punished by our own goal.

“Overall, I’m happy with the performance of the team and I hope for the team’s success in our upcoming matches,” he added.

Next, Tambadau will take on Pahang in their first home tie on August 17. They will meet Pahang again in Kuantan on August 24 before concluding their group challenge by playing two consecutive home matches against Penang (September 14) and Perak (September 18).

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