MALACCA: Malacca Telekom bounced back from last weekend's setback in style when they beat Sabah 1-0 in their Premier I match at the Stadium Hang Tuah here last night.
Nazrul Erwan Makmor was the hero for Telekom when he scored the winner against the run of play in the 54th minute.
Telekom, whose five-match unbeaten run came to an end last week when they lost to Kedah, made sure it was Sabah who had their unbeaten run snapped this time.
With Ghanaian Isaac Kuffour leading Telekom's attack with purpose from the kick-off, the club side had three good looks at Sabah's goal in the opening 15 minutes.
Twice in the fifth and eighth minutes Kuffour was on target with scorching grounders while, in the 11th minute, Mohd Rizal Hassan let fly a rising shot towards goal. But on all three occasions, former national goalkeeper Khairul Azman Mohamed saved the day for Sabah.
Thriving on breakaway raids, Sabah had Telekom's defence reeling in the 21st and 22nd minutes but both times Liberian striker Josiah Seton shot wide despite having only Telekom goalkeeper Mohamed Yazid Yassin to beat.
Sabah began the second half with urgency, forcing three quick corners between the 41st and 51st minutes. However, the home defence, marshalled by Azlan Hussain and Nazrul, held out stoutly.
Then, out of the blue, Telekom struck in the 54th minute. Off a quickly taken free kick by Kuffour, the Sabah defence failed to clear the ball properly, allowing defender Nazrul to tap the ball past Khairul.
Stung, the Rhinos stormed back to pin Telekom in their own half and threw everything they had in a bid to salvage a point but the gutsy Telekom held out until the final whistle.
Malacca Telekom: Mohamed Yazid Yassin, Imran Ahmad (Munir Amran), Farid Dewan (Nazzab Hidzan), Khairi Zainuddin, Rizal Hassan, Nazrulerwan Makmor, Ram esh Lai, Isaac Kuffour, Azlan Husin, Thomas Tuah, Affendi Lokman.
Sabah: Khairul Azman Mohamed, Asmawi Bakiri, Burhan Ajui, Jelius Ating, K. Sanbagamaran, L. Suresh (Gilbert Jr), Lee Shen Fui, Mohamed Reithauddin Emran, Rosdin Wasli (Zuraidi Jumai), Zainizam Marjan (Zaykiel Leong), Josiah Seton.