Three goals in a ten minute blitz in the first half of extra time helped Sabah triumph in the Sukan Malaysia’s (SUKMA) football event for the first time ever.
Sabah, who have never appeared in the final before, proved the fitter of the two teams when they punished a tired Perak team with three quick-fire goals as soon as extra time began after the game had ended goalless in regulation time. Perak’s task was made all the more difficult by the sending off of their semi-final hero Kenny Pallraj for two bookable offences.
After a tight affair in the first 90 minutes with both teams refusing to give anything away, the game exploded in the first minute of extra-time when Sabah’s Zulmansshah Aling beat Perak keeper Syazani Mat Puat with a well-placed shot after getting picked out by Leopold Alfonso Otong. Five minutes later Sabah went 2-0 up when Leopold scored his fifth goal of the games. National striker Rozaimi Rhaman then coolly finished of a swift counter-attacking move in the 102nd minute to send Sabah home and dry.
Earlier, Wilayah Persekutuan’s young boys showed that there is some hope yet for football in the Malaysian capital, despite the dismal performance of the senior team in the Malaysian Super League (MSL) this season, by winning the bronze medal in the third place play-off. Substitute Syazuan Hizani became the hero for the “City Slickers” with a stoppage time winner after Amimar Abdul Aziz had cancelled out Khairul Ridzwan Othman’s 15th minute goal.