18th June, 2012
KOTA KINABALU: It was a sad day for the Sabah football scene after the State senior squad’s disgraceful 0-9 loss to Singapore’s Lions XII in a Super League tie on Saturday.
The defeat to Singapore Lions XII at the Jalan Besar Stadium not only left a black mark in the State’s football history but also in the League.
Losing a football game is part and parcel of any tournament or League in any part of this planet but a 0-9 score line is an unacceptable result especially when a team like Sabah was once a force to be reckoned with.
This is the biggest score line ever to be recorded in the League since its inception in 2004. The result is beyond one’s imagination.
For the loyal Sabah fans, the pill is a little too bitter to swallow and Sabah head coach Justin could be in hot soup for the horror show.
And one too wonders whether there is any hanky-panky going on prior to the clash!
The Sabah FA Secretary General, Alijus Haji Sipil when contacted refused to comments on the result, not until when they have received a full report from the team.
“We are as disappointed as anybody else out there. But we will not make any comment, not until we receive a report from the team because they know better,” said Alijus.
“We will address this professionally, and I can assure you that we will look into every aspect thoroughly before any decision is made, so we need to wait for the report, because they know better (manager and head coach) about the team,” he added.
Coach Justin too has been struggling with injuries and suspensions to key players. Even on Saturday, he was without his two key men at the backline, Md Reithuddin Emran and Mohd Fariss Azlan Mat Isa are nursing injuries.
In Saturday night’s action, things went from bad to worse for Justin after only about 20 minutes of play as he lost another defender, left-back Sumardi Hajalan, who limped out from the game with an injury.
Soon after this the Lions’ scoring spree began. Agu Casmir started the ball rolling netting the opener before Harisss Harun added the second three minutes later. The fast flowing game saw Sabah punished again when Hariss added his second a minute before the break.
When the match resumed, Shahdan scored twice in the space of three minutes nodding home his first in the 62nd and the second 64th.
The marauding Lions did not stop there as they went on to score another four with Irwan Shah netting the fifth in the 68th minute before Hariss completed his hat trick with his 73rd minute effort before Sufian Anuar and Shahrul Azhar netted a goal apiece in the 84th and 89th minute respectively to complete the humiliating defeat on Sabah.
Tomorrow Sabah take on Selangor PKNS at the Likas Stadium.
It will be interesting to see how they can recover from this shameful defeat.