Points matter more than goals for Kim Swee in Sabah’s away games


PETALING JAYA: Sabah struggled to a 2-1 win over Penang at the City Stadium on Sunday but their coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee was not complaining.

The visiting Rhinos led in the ninth minute through an Irfan Fazail goal and doubled their lead just before the interval through Brazilian striker Ramon Macedo, who has now scored four goals in four games.

Substitute Alif Ikmalrizal Anuar came on to score in the 76th minute but it was just not enough to save Penang.

Sabah are fifth in the table with 36 points from 19 games while Penang slipped to 10th with 19 points.

Sabah recorded a thumping 5-2 win over Penang in their first league meeting in March at the Likas Stadium in Kota Kinabalu but for Kim Swee, it’s the three points that mattered and not the number of goals.

“Getting the three points is more important than what I think about how many goals we scored,” said Kim Swee.

“I don’t care about a lot of goals, especially since we are playing away from home.

“It’s never easy playing away from home against any team.

“My men played quite well in the first half but complacency crept in after that.

“Things like this can’t happen again where we play away from home. When the opposing team get the first goal, it puts pressure on the home team to come back strong.

“However, we were able to curb the pressure from Penang and managed to defend our goal until the last minute,” said Kim Swee.

The victory will boost their efforts to soldier on, especially with three tough matches ahead of them.

Sabah will take on Kuching City in Sarawak this Saturday in the first leg of the Malaysia Cup round of 16 and then play against current leaders Johor Darul Ta’zim in the Super League four days later.

They also face FA Cup runners-up Kuala Lumpur on Aug 13.

“We played two away matches (against Selangor and Penang) and did quite a lot of travelling, so I have to look at the fatigue and fitness factor of the players.

“It is important for me to list players who are fit because we know playing in Kuching will not be easy. We want to be on the right track,” he added.

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