PETALING JAYA: Polish up your finishing or you’ll be finished.
That’s the ultimatum Sabah coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee has issued to his charges after they had to settle for a 2-2 draw with Perak in their Malaysia Cup quarter-final first leg at the Likas Stadium in Kota Kinabalu on Friday.
The home side had a total of 14 shots, of which eight were on target, but they could only score two.
And Kim Swee could be seen grimacing over every missed chance on the touchline. As for Perak, they had only four shots on target but managed to finish off two.
Sabah, though, drew first blood early as Darren Lok struck in the fourth minute before Perak equalised six minutes later through Argentinian playmaker Luciano Guaycochea.
Brazilian striker Ramon Machado restored the Rhinos’ lead in the 46th minute before winger Wan Zack Wan Haikal drew level again for Perak in the 54th.
Sabah now have their work cut out in the second leg at the Perak Stadium in Ipoh on Sept 25.
Kim Swee fears the worst for his side if their finishing does not improve in the return leg.
“We created lots of chances and also dominated possession but sadly, we did not capitalise on it. Perak came with a plan and that was to hold us. They executed it well and we only have ourselves to blame,” he said.
“We have to be much more clinical for the second leg in Ipoh if we want to pull through. We also have to rectify this before our first AFC Cup game against Hougang United.”
Sabah will face the Singaporean club in their first Group H game at the Likas Stadium on Sept 21.
Meanwhile, Perak coach Yusri Che Lah was delighted that his players escaped defeat in Sabah.
“The away goals will be valuable, but we have another 90 minutes to play. The goals we conceded could have been avoided if we were more experienced,” he said.