Nothing pretty from gritty Rhinos but full points will do for Kim Swee

That’s close: Negri Sembilan’s Matheus Alves (second from left) in a tight duel with Sabah’s Tommy Mawat during their Super League match. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: Sabah are proving to be as tough as Rhinos after showing discipline and grit to earn their seventh win in 10 games in the Super League.

Ong Kim Swee’s Borneo outfit edged Negri Sembilan 1-0 at the Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium in Paroi on Sunday to stay second in the top flight with 22 points, just one behind Johor Darul Tazim (JDT).

South Korean midfielder Park Tae-su’s brilliantly-headed goal from a tight angle in the 62nd minute give Sabah the full points.

Although the football played wasn’t attractive, Kim Swee has no complaints after his charges kept a clean sheet.

“As I expected, it was a tough game. We defended well, especially in the first-half, which gave us confidence in the second. We also created chances and converted our set-piece, with Park scoring with a superb header,” said Kim Swee.

“I admit we have our weaknesses but we’re working on them from game to game. The important thing is we persevered and got the win.’’

Sabah now have a chance to go top if they beat JDT at the Likas Stadium in Kota Kinabalu on July 15.

Many are already claiming that Sabah have the quality to be title contenders but Kim Swee said it’s too early to rate his side that highly.

‘’It’s only been 10 games. It remains to be seen if we can be consistent over the next 12 matches. The match against JDT will be a big test. I hope the fans will turn out in big numbers to support us.’’

Meanwhile, Negri’s run of not conceding in the last five games ended. Coach K. Devan, whose side remain third with 20 points after 12 games, said their tight schedule could have taken a toll on the players.

‘’We had to play three games in nine days but Sabah played just two. So, they had an advantage and my boys were probably a little tired,’’ he said.

The Deer will resume their league campaign on July 27 against Terengganu at the Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium.

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Super League , Sabah , Ong Kim Swee


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