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Sabah U-19 bow out despite win
Published on: Friday, August 10, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Under-19 squad came close to reaching the semi-final after they beat Kedah 1-0 in the second leg Youth Cup quarterfinal tie here at the Penampang Stadium on Thursday afternoon.

They needed a 2-0 win to progress after their 4-2 loss in the first leg played away on Sunday, and they had the opportunities with a great start when they took the lead as early as in the 15th minute through skipper Syamil Nizam Iqbal Khan.

They could have gone 3-0 up as well in the opening half with Sharizan Saidin and Fakhrul Ideris both failed to find the net in a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper.

Despite their underdogs tag, the team continued to dominate the match at the restart but unfortunately they were unable to find the much needed goal to book themselves into the last four and had to settle for a 3-4 aggregate score at the final whistle.

Coach Ayyman Johny who is taking helm of the team for the first time was full of praise for his players.

"I am very proud of their display today. They tried hard but luck was just not on their side.

They should be proud of themselves by beating the defending champion and title favourite.

"Nobody gave us a chance but the players showed that they could be at par with the best in the country with their performance today.

"This is a very young team and the players are well short of experience. I believe if the team can stay together for next season they will perform even better," said Ayyman after the match. - GL Oh

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