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Saturday, September 22, 2001

Cricket - Brunei beat Sabah in opener

Defending champions Brunei defeated Sabah in the opening game of the Borneo Cup 2001 yesterday.

After winning the toss, Brunei took to the field. Sabah batsmen began their innings with fire, scoring 32 runs in first 6 overs.

Brunei pulled back with a devastating bowling spell of Alistar Banks (8.2-3-21-6) including his second hat-trick within a month.

Other wicket takers were Sam (7-1-21-2), Manzur (10-3-15-1) and Justin (10-0-37-1). For Sabah, Roslan Mokti top scored with 33 runs assisted by Mappanyukki Ambolau (24) and Ismail (16). Sabah scored 133 runs all out in 45.2 overs.

Brunei began their run chase solidly, with openers Justin (32) and Jenkins (10). Sabah's bowler Ahmad Abdul Salam (10-0-30-4) with his spin bowling caused tensions to run high in the Brunei camp as the wickets fell at regular intervals.

Brunei captain Renato (23) played a professional knock to steer his team to victory with 30 balls to spare and two wickets in hand. Other successful bowlers from Sabah were Roslan Mokti (10-2-11-2) and Ismail (7-0-27-2).

Today, Sabah will take on highly-rated Sarawak at Jerudong Park Polo Ground (Grandstand 2). This match promises to be a real thriller with Sabah needing to beat Sarawak to stay in the race for the Borneo Cup 2001.

Brunei play Sarawak on Sunday at the same venue for the final league match of the tournament, which will decide the winner of the Borneo Cup 2001.

All spectators are welcome to view what promises to be a very exciting tussle for the prestigious Borneo Cup.

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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Friday, September 21, 2001

M-Cup - Sabah return to Penampang in search of win

JOHOR BARU: It will be back to the all too familiar surroundings of the Penampang Stadium and its small pitch as Sabah prepare to make up for lost ground in the Malaysia Cup competition when they take on minnows Kedah JKR at home in a Group D match tomorrow.

And Sabahís first Malaysia Cup home match comes in the wake of their 0-2 defeat by Perlis on Tuesday - a defeat which coach Ken Worden (pic) said "has not shattered our confidence at all."

"We are still a long way from giving up the fight," said Worden, who kept his promise to take Sabah back to Premier I after a one-year stay in Premier II, from Kota Kinabalu yesterday.

Sabah's home matches will be played in the late afternoon because the Likas Stadium is undergoing renovation for next year's Sukma, which will be held in Kota Kinabalu.

Given a choice, Worden prefers playing night matches at the Likas Stadium.

"The Penampang pitch is small. It makes life difficult for us. We don't fancy playing here," said Worden.

As for the match against JKR, Worden is counting on his sideís team spirit to carry past the Malaysia Cup debutants, who were thrashed 0-4 by Premier I champions Penang at home in their first match.

"We had everything going for us against Perlis until the penalty. We played exactly the way we wanted to. Perlis could not break us down and we were quite sure of a point," said Worden, who has not ruled out Sabahís chances of advancing from the group.

"Penang and Perlis still have to come and play at Penampang. Our defeat to Perlis has not demoralised us. We are still in there with confidence ... especially after having achieved our first target of getting back into Premier I."

Source: The Star

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M-Cup - What a blunder by the Rhinos

By Francis Xavier

* Penalty ruins Rhinosí chances of collecting a point

KOTA KINABALU: It was a penalty given away by defender Dunian Sulog that cost the Rhinos at least one point - they went down 2-0 to Perlis in the opener of the prestigious Malaysia Cup tournament in a Group D tie on Tuesday.

If not for the blunder by Dunian, coach Ken Worden said Sabah could have earned the valuable point in Kangar.

"The guy couldnít score from that angle and when they got a penalty, we tried to score thus weakening our defence. If we did not concede the penalty, there is absolutely no way Perlis could score. I feel sorry for Dunian, but it was one of those things. He came in for the injured Burhan Ajui and lacked match fitness," Worden said.

Added the Aussie: "I donít want to blame Dunian. He was just unfortunate (to give away the penalty). He did the best he could. It is always easy to watch and start criticising people. Dunian did very well. We didnít deserve to lose, but didnít deserve to win either."

Worden commented: "We played defensive tactics in the first half, and the team played well although Perlis challenged us, but most of their shots were from long range, which Khairul (Azman Mohd) dealt with comfortably most of the time."

Sabah paid the price for an error by Dunian as he gave away the penalty after he brought down Perlisí Hairil Zamri Abdul Rashid inside the penalty box in the 51st minute of the game.

Five minutes later, Perlis capitalised on a quick counter attack to extend their lead through Hairil, who curled a low drive past the hapless Khairul in a one-to-one, situation.

On Sabahís next game, Worden said that they have to be on their toes if they harbour any hope to snatch their first win of the tournament.

Sabah will take on Kedah JKR at the Penampang Stadium on Saturday.

"That wonít be an easy match either (referring to the Kedah JKR clash). We only beat this team to get out of the second division. Whatever it is, weíve got to win this game. We have met them twice and we got four points from the two outings. But they havenít scored a goal against us," Worden said.

Worden said that if Sabah won or snatched a point in the Perlisí clash, he was confident that Sabah would make it to the next round.

"Now we must get back and fight and must win our home battle against Kedah JKR," Worden stressed.

We all know what happened last season. They were ousted as early as in the group stages. They even suffered an embarrassing 1-0 defeat to club side Johor FC in the opener.

Assistant team manager Datuk Majin Ajing shares the same opinion as Worden. Sabah must beat Kedah JKR at all costs if they harbour hopes to make it at least to the quarterfinals.

After the Kedah JKR clash, Sabah will play away to Penang.

"Next week, we are going to Penang and we respect them being the Premier I champions," he said.

He admitted that it is not going to be easy, but the race is still wide open for any team, including Sabah to grab the two quarterfinal slots from the group.

Majin also blamed the silly error that cost them at least one point.

"Iím not saying that we are not good, but to me they (Perlis) are a good team, furthermore they have the homeground advantage," said Majin.

"But since this is our first match, I have asked Ken to use the Penampang Stadium (for training). I hope he can do something about the team," he added.

"The players have to realise that it is no easy road to success and they must be more positive," Majin said.

Commenting on the defeat, Majin said: "The penalty killed our game altogether. Because of our excitement to attack, Perlis took advantage and scored the second goal through a quick counter attack.

"People might think that we are not good enough, but in the FA Cup, we have beaten teams such as Perak and Pahang," he said.

Source: New Sabah Times

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Thursday, September 20, 2001

Cricket - Brunei host Borneo Cup

Titleholders Brunei are once again the proud hosts of the Borneo Cup. The Borneo Cup is a round-robin cricket competition, which is annually and eagerly competed by Brunei, Sarawak and Sabah.

The first and most crucial of the three matches will be played on Friday September 21 at Jerudong Park between Brunei and their traditional rivals Sabah. Sarawak will take on Sabah on Saturday before tackling Brunei in the final game on Sunday. All matches will begin at 9am.

The Brunei Darussalam Cricket Association (PKNBD) have chosen talented representatives from each of the four teams: RBYC, Panaga, Manggis and Menglait.

The sixteen strong squad is as follows: Manzur Ahmad (Captain), Renato (Vice Captain), Sanjiv Sabharwal, Justin Kennedy, Sam Prescott, Alistar Banks, Jerry Nowers, Trevor Jolly, A J Cliffe, Basharath Ahmad, Saeed, Sunil Jenkins Dennis, Asif, Amir, Awan Ameen, Bila Cheema.

Having only recently turned fourteen years of age, Bilal is definitely the youngest member of the Brunei squad.

All spectators are welcome to view what promises to be a very exciting tussle for the prestigious Borneo Cup.

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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M-Cup - Now Crocs playing ala Liverpool, thanks to coach Jalil

JOHOR BARU: A little bit of Liverpool has come to Sarawak. And the Crocs, who finished ninth in the league and just missed having to go to the playoffs, are now brimming with new ideas - and loads of confidence.

Coach Jalil Ramli, who has just returned from a coaching stint in Europe, tried out a few new ideas and Sarawak beat Kelantan 2-0 in their Malaysia Cup Group B match at home on Tuesday.

"A little bit of what I learned during my stint with Liverpool was tried out and I am happy with the way things worked. Things worked just the way I wanted it," said a happy Jalil in a telephone interview from Kuching yesterday.

However, in the same breath, Jalil was quick to point out that the players tended to have lapses in concentration. "There were also times when we were giving away the ball easily," said Jalil.

The win over Kelantan will certainly put the Crocs in the right frame of mind to face club side Negri Sembilan Chempaka at the Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium in Paroi, Seremban this Saturday.

Striker Halim Jantanís brace - in the seventh and 73rd minutes - were enough to give Sarawak a flying start to their Cup campaign. Sarawak have never won the Malaysia Cup and have made it their "top priority" this season after losing the FA Cup final to Selangor.

Jalil and company also seemed to have put behind them the "Infamous Five" incident, when winger Nazri Yu-nos, strikers Safri Amit and Abang Zaafari Abang Othman, defender Shamsul Napiah and reserve goalkeeper Mohd Firdaus Ishak were kicked out of the team after they had been arrested by the anti-narcotics unit in Kuching on June 23 for alleged drug abuse.

"We are starting anew in the Malaysia Cup. I am glad the team are focused on doing well. We had a good start and hope to ride on our win over Kelantan for better things to come."

Source: The Star

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Wednesday, September 19, 2001

M-Cup - Sabah lost to Perlis

KANGAR: At Stadium Utama in Kangar, Perlis scored two second half goals to down Sabah 2-0 in a group D match.

Badrul Afzan Razali fired home from the penalty spot in the 52nd minute to give the Northern Lions a 10 lead.

Four minutes later, Hairil Zamri Rashid sealed all three points for the home side with the second goal.

PERLIS: 22-Mohd Amran Omar, 5-V.Yogeswaran, 9-Amirul Jufri Abd Jalil (8-Manzoor Azwira Abd Wahid), 14-Suhairi Abd Karim, 11-Badrul Afzan Razali, 15-Mohd Feriza Ismail, 17-Mohd Nazaruddin Mohd Zain, 18-Mohd Kharonnisam Shahabudin, 19-S. Paidiya Rau, 23-Hairil Zamri Abd Rashid (24-Che Hussin Man), 25-Rozmin Musa.

SABAH: 1-Khairulazman Mohamad, 3-Dunian Sulog (10-Rizal Awang Jad), 5-Mohd Reithaudin Embran, 6-Madzalan Emoi, 7-Shahril Arsat, 11-Shahrin Majid (13-Suharmin Yusof), 17-Henry Soimpon, 21-K.Sambagamaran, 19-Julius Ating@Tabias, 20-Zainizam Marjan, 22-Rizal Sukiman.

Source: The Star

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M-Cup - Crocs off to good start, slim win for Pahang

KUCHING: Sarawak got off to a win¨ning start in their Malaysia Cup campaign when they beat Kelantan 2-0 in their opening Group B match at the Sarawak Stadium here last night.

Kelantan, one of the favourites to qualify for the semifinals, were nowhere near their best as they allowed the home team to dominate the entire match.

Abdul Halim Jantan was the toast with a goal in each half.

Sarawak began the match aggres¨sively and were rewarded with a goal after only seven minutes when Abdul Halim Jantan headed in a cross from Gilbert Cassidy Gawing.

Nippy winger Ramos Sari nearly doubled the score in the 14th minute but was denied by the quick reflexes of Kelantan keeper Sharizan Ismail.

The home team had two more chances in the 17th and 18th minutes but this time Ramles Sari squandered both, much to the frustration of the more than 3,000 fans.

Kelantan relied on quick counter attacks to breach the Sarawak defence but to no avail.

Hotheaded Kelantan striker Mohd Hardi Ahmad, who claimed he was roughly tackled inside the Sarawak penalty box, being flashed with the yellow card after shoving referee Danny Ong.

After the breather, Sarawak con¨tinued to dominate and finally man¨aged to double the score through the Abdul HalimGilbert combination in the 73rd minute. Gilbert was again the provider and Abdul Halim the finisher.

Abdul Halim had a chance to grab a hattrick a minute later but his weak shot went just wide.

At the Darulmakmur Stadium in Kuantan, former champions Pahang could only manage a narrow 21 win over debutants Negri Sembilan Chempaka 21 in another Group B match.

Hairul Nizam Man broke the dead¨lock for the Elephants after 50 min¨utes when he headed home a Jalaluddin Jaafar cross.

Sixteen minutes later, Ahmad Shahruddin Rosdi netted Pahangís second goal. Pahang could have won by a bigger margin but poor finishing let them down.

Substitute R. Mani Varman scored the consolation goal for Chempaka in the 79th minute.

Source: The Star

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Football - Most Asian football teams lack creativity

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Asian football supremo Peter Velappan Tuesday bemoaned a lack of creativity in the sides competing at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games but expressed hope for a new breed of player coming through.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) boss said that except for Thailand and Vietnam, regional teams needed to develop their players to be not just mobile but "creative when under pressure".

Velappan was unveiling a technical analysis of the football event at the 10-day SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, which ended this week with defending champions Thailand beating Malaysia 1-0 Saturday to retain their title. The Philippines was the only one of the 10 Southeast Asian countries not to take part in the football, which the AFC decreed should be an under-23 rather than full-strength event.

That AFC decision had been vindicated by the youthful talent shown at the Games, Velappan said in a statement.

"All nine teams in the competition have now at their disposal a pool of quality players who can be groomed into Asian, Olympic and world class players," he said.

"With this under-23 age group, we are now able to complete the Asian football structure which ensures a steady and progressive development of football in the continent."

Velappan said the technical analysis report recommended that women's football should be introduced at the age of 12 in all Southeast Asian countries to develop interest and identify talent.

Vietnam won the women's gold. The report named Vietnam's Nguyen Thi Mai Lan as the player of the men's tournament.

The region will be under the global footballing spotlight as never before next year when Japan and South Korea co-host the World Cup.

Source: AFP

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Tuesday, September 18, 2001

SEA Games - Best Games come to a close and itís over to Vietnam

IT was a grand finish - in every way. Malaysia, already confirmed as SEA Games champions a day earlier, took three out of five golds on the last day yesterday to hit the magical figure of 111.
And then, the hosts capped it all with the closing ceremony - in a celebration of colour, music and joy after 10 days of friendly competition.

Even as the SEA Games flame was dying out after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad declared the Games closed, the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil erupted into a massive party of 100,000 people.

The 10 days of toil, sweat and tears had brought out the best - and in instances the worst - in competition among the estimated 3,500 athletes but last night it was a different story altogether as they let their hair down and mingled freely in the spirit of Asean friendship and solidarity and the theme of the night: Asean: A Time to Celebrate

They came out by their sports - not by nations - and erstwhile rivals were now holding hands celebrating the end of the Games.

Then came the icing on the cake for Malaysia's celebrations at becoming overall champion for the first time in the Games since its inception in 1959. Malaysian equestrian rider Mohd Qabil Ambak Mahamad Fathil was announced as the Asean Sportsman.

Thai sprinter, Supavadee Khawpeag, was honoured as the Asean Sportswoman.

SEAGF chairman and the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tan Sri Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja'afar then handed the flag to Vietnam National Olympic Committee president Nguyen Danh Thai, who is Vietnam's Sports Minister.

And it was goodbye Kuala Lumpur. Till we meet again in Hanoi in 2003.

Source: The Star

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SEA Games - Malaysia Champions

KUALA LUMPUR: The race for overall winners for the 21st SEA Games is over and Malaysia are the new SEA Games champions.

They have an unassailable lead with a total of 108 gold against Thailandís 100 at the end of yesterdayís closely fought encounters.

Indonesia are in third placing with 72 gold, 73 silver and 81 bronze medals.

The Games will draw to a close today with the last five gold medals at stake and the outcome of this medal pickings would have no bearing on the overall championship.

Malaysia emerged as the first winners of the series in the new millennium.

Equestrian for the individualís and teamís three-day event, the menís and womenís synchronised diving and synchronised swimming will be contested today to wind up the Games meet.

On current performance, Malaysiaís medal haul is expected to increase further from the 108 gold, 83 silver and 87 bronze medals picked up so far.

Thailandís late charge petered out when they lost the first bout in todayís boxing finals where they were featured in all the 11 events.

Indonesiaís Bonyx Saweho set the downturn in Thailandís hopes of a clean sweep with an upset win over Keaw Pongprayoon in the 45kg category.

Shattered by this early setback, the reputable Thais needing to grab all the remaining gold, took a further beating and had to be contented with only seven gold losing three other finals to Malaysians Adnan Yusoh and Mohamad Zainuddin Saidi - and the other to Indonesian Alberth Papilaya.

Malaysiaís biggest winners for the day were Goh Yi Wei and Celestine, who shared between them four gold medals in the rhythmic gymnastics apparatus finals.

On a cloudy day in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian bowlers remained red hot.

Norhashimah Ismail and Sarimah Abu Bakar took the womenís pairs while Sazeli Sani and Mohd Tamzan Tahir topped the menís competition.

Syed Mohamad Syed Akil won the singles, taking Malaysiaís harvest to five of the possible six gold medals in the competition.

The partnerships of Yeoh Ken Nee/Mohd Azheem Bahari and Leong Mun Yee/Rosatimah Muhammad provided the golden double in synchronised diving. And, they are likely to double their medal pickings today in the aquatics final two events.

Suzanna Ghazali captured her first gold in synchronised swimming at the National Aquatic Centre and she hopes to add another today in her final event.

Cyclist Mohd Azlan Jamaluddin was also in superb form winning the menís 180km mass start road race in Bandar Baru Nilai in Seremban.

The strong discipline and good teamwork prevailed in hockey, basketball and golf, which provided a gold medal each and this dashed Thailandís bid of retaining their overall championship.

The championship race is over but the battle in the last five events will get underway today.


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