MSL 2011: Sabah FA v Perak FA(19/5/2011)

DEPLETED SQUAD … Mohd Farid Ideris (centre) will miss the match.

Fair game

Sabah will take on Perak with a depleted side, missing at least four key players due to either injury or suspension, but head coach Justin Ganai remains optimistic of snatching one point from the away tie to be played at the Lumut Stadium today.

The Super League fixture was initially supposed to be played at the Perak Stadium in Ipoh.

However, the Perak home den was being used by the Perak Schools Sports Council Track and Field Championship that prompted it to be switched to Lumut.

The switch will also see the match played in the evening with the kick-off time set for 4.45pm.

Justin said striker Mohd Farid Ideris, flanker Julamri Muhammad, defender Alto Linus and midfielder Zuraindey Jumai will all miss the game.

Sumardi Hajalan, he added despite making the trip, is also a doubtful starter as he is not 100 per cent fit, also due to injury.

Farid is suffering pain on his right foot while Julamri is having muscle pain on his thigh.

As for Alto and Zuraindey, the duo will be serving an automatic one-match suspension after collecting their third yellow cards in the 0-2 defeat to Harimau Muda last Sunday.

“Although we have four players out due to either injury or suspension, we will still have 11 players on the field. So it is still a fair game. Furthermore, the spirit is still high in the team, and if we can take one point from the game, it will be a good result for us,” said Justin yesterday.

He also hinted on making changes to his game plan.

“There will certainly be some changes to our game plan. There will also be switching of positions to some of our players. We lost four key players, and we don’t have so many utility players in the team.

“But I hope that the players I field tomorrow, whoever they are, will do a good job for the team.

“We have only one utility player that we can really rely on … Mafry (Balang). He is the only player who can play in several positions. Besides that, we also have one or two more, but they can only play in two positions at the most.

Justin said he is likely to stick to Azizon Abd Kadir as his number one goalkeeper with both Syed Adney Syed Hussien and Mohd Salawi Jasad starting from the bench.

In the backline, he plans to switch Mafry from the left back to the right back and play Hariri Mohd Safii while both skipper Md Reithuddin Ag Emran and Rosdin Wasli will be at the heart of the defence.

Justin said, he will also stick to Shahrul Azhar Ture at the right of midfield while both Radzi Mohd Hussin and Sabri Sahar at the centre (midfield), but is still tinkering on whether to stick to Md Rozaimi Abd Rahman at the left of midfield or replace him with K. Thanaraj.

“I don’t know yet. I will only decide tomorrow (today), because I’m also thinking of using him (Rozaimi) as a back-up striker.

If that is the case, Justin said Rozaimi will play behind Zainizam Marjan, but if not, he will have to choose between Razlan Oto and Leopold Alfonso Otong to pair Zainizam.

“But tomorrow (today) we will have a young line-up especially in midfield, but we will try to play smart football, and will not go for an all out attack, but will rely more on counter attacks,” said Justin, who is into his fourth game in charge of the team since taking over from Gary Phillips.

In the last three games, the team recorded two victories and a defeat.

Sabah is currently lying in 12th placing in the 14-team standings on 18 points. But they could drop back to the danger zone if they fail to collect any points away from Lumut and Kuala Lumpur, who is in 13th placing, wins their away battle against Pahang.

First loss under Justin(16/5/2011)

SANDWICHED ... Sabah's Alto Linus tries to get past two Harimau Muda A players in the Malaysian Super League fixture at the Likas Stadium last night.

Misfiring Sabah suffered their first defeat under head coach Justin Ganai, going down 0-2 to Harimau Muda A here last night.

Playing in front of what was the biggest crowd at the Likas Stadium this season, Sabah just could not turn it into victory as striker Izzaq Faris Ramlan put Sabah to the sword with two goals.

The teams went into the game on the offensive mood and after two early misses at either end of the pitch, Zainizam Marjan’s headed effort was just wide of the target after a good cross from Rozaimi Abd Rahman.

Sabah who dominated the early exchanges, were given a rude shock when Izzaq Farris Ramlan scored a brace against the run of play..

Sabah fail to tame Harimau Muda A

The visiting team too were unlucky shortly after when the unmarked Abdul Shukor Jusoh’s effort was destined for the goalmouth until the interference from Mohd Reithuddin Emran who diverted the ball to safety.

In the 21st minute, Zainizam was guilty of missing the best chance of the half when he was put through on goal only to shoot straight at the goalkeeper.

Izzaq Farris Ramlan then put Harimau Muda A in the lead when he headed past goalie Azizon Abd Kadir in the 34th minute.

Sabah could have fallen behind further had Azizon not pulled off two outstanding saves just before the half time whistle to keep the scoreline within the homesters reach.

Harimau Muda A made the first substitution at the start of the second half bringing in Nazirul Naim Che Hashim for Mohd Affize Faizal Mamat but it was Sabah who had the first chance.

Zainizam volleyed from just outside the box but Zamir was not required to make a save.

However, Sabah could not build on that as Harimau Muda A took control of the match that forced head coach Justin Ganai into making substitutions, bringing in Sabri Sahar for Radzi Mohd Hussin and Razlan Oto for Md Farid Ideris.

The move nearly paid off as the fresh legs enabled Sabah to push forward and on one occasion Rozaimi was unlucky to see his goal-bound shot saved by Zamir.

Local import K. Thanaraj, who was initially dropped before being reinstated after making an appeal, was introduced for Rozaimi for his first appearance this season.

Thanaraj’s debut however was greeted with Harimau Muda A’s second goal through Izzaq in the 79th minute, taking advantage of the off-balance Reithuddin to slot into an empty net.

MSL 2011: Sabah FA v Perak FA(19/5/2011) Reviewed by admin Ucop on 12:30 AM Rating: 5

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