Sabah edge Pahang with two late strikes
KOTA KINABALU,. Sabah FC scored two late goals to seal a 2-1 comeback win over Sri Pahang FC in the Super League tie at Darul Makmur Stadium on Tuesday.
Park Tae Su scored the all important winning goal deep into injury time after fellow centre-back Dominic Tan had cancelled out Steven Rodriguez’s opening goal earlier.
The victory ensured the Rhinos would hold onto their current second placing going into the last match, where they will be away to newly crowned league champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT).
Head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee hailed the players’ never-say-die attitude in the victory.
“We played quite well but unfortunately they scored first while we were trying hard to get the goal.
“However, the players displayed high level of fighting spirit which they have shown early in the campaign and tonight, they proved yet again by getting the goals to claim a very important victory,” said Kim Swee after the match.
The Rhinos went into the match knowing well anything than a victory could see either Terengganu FC or Negeri Sembilan FC overtake them in the standings.
The match was evenly contested, although Sri Pahang did have the better of scoring chances but went begging.
Sri Pahang then got a deserved lead in the 86th minute when Rodriguez rose the highest to find the top right corner with a header for the opening goal.
The Rhinos were unperturbed and Malaysia’s international centre-back Dominic slid home a 90th minute equaliser after Taiki Kagayama had set him nicely with a neat header from Saddil Ramdani’s cross.
As the teams all set to settle for one-point each, Park came up with a brilliant winner in the dying seconds of the game.
Park, who started at centre-back, smashed the ball into the back of the net after Dominic’s initial header from Taiki’s cross found its way to the lurking South Korean who has now amassed eight league goals.
With the victory, Sabah remain second on 42 points and lead current third and fourth place teams Terengganu FC and Negeri Sembilan FC by a single point.
The Rhinos will wrap up the league campaign away to JDT, who secured a ninth straight league title on October 15.