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Special derby ends in stalemate

by Matthew T. Umpang, reporters@theborneopost.com. Posted on March 9, 2013, Saturday

PEACE FOR LAHAD DATU: Sarawak fans show their support for neighbour Sabah.

PEACE FOR LAHAD DATU: Sarawak fans show their support for neighbour Sabah.

REMEMBER THE FALLEN: Sarawak and Sabah players with match officials observed a minute of silence as a mark of respect for those killed by armed intruders in Sabah. — Photos by Chimon Upon

REMEMBER THE FALLEN: Sarawak and Sabah players with match officials observed a minute of silence as a mark of respect for those killed by armed intruders in Sabah. — Photos by Chimon Upon

MIDFIELD TUSSLE: Sarawak’s Josep Kallang Tie vies for the ball with Sabah’s Shahrul Azhar Ture during their Premier League match at the State Stadium last night.

MIDFIELD TUSSLE: Sarawak’s Josep Kallang Tie vies for the ball with Sabah’s Shahrul Azhar Ture during their Premier League match at the State Stadium last night.

NATIONAL SOLIDARITY: Sarawak football fans hoist banners calling for prayers for Sabah and fallen servicemen during a Premier League match between the two state teams in Kuching. Appropriately the match last night ended in a 0-0 draw. — Photo by Chimon Upon  l  Full match report backpage

NATIONAL SOLIDARITY: Sarawak football fans hoist banners calling for prayers for Sabah and fallen servicemen during a Premier League match between the two state teams in Kuching. Appropriately the match last night ended in a 0-0 draw. — Photo by Chimon Upon l Full match report backpage

KUCHING: Mis-firing Sarawak lost the opportunity to take top spot in the Premier League as

they were held to a scoreless draw by Sabah at home last night.

Earlier on, league leaders Sime Darby FC were held 1-1 by KL Pos Malaysia FC.

A minute’s silence was observed at the Stadium Negeri before kick-off, in respect of the national heroes who died while on duty against armed intruders in Sabah.

Untitled-1The Borneo derby went straight into action, and there was a scare for the Crocs in the 8th minute, as players scrambled for the ball at Sarawak’s goalmouth.

Sarawak’s Croation striker Ivan Babic was employed to the left flank last night.

In the 18th minute, Bobby Gonzales nearly gave Sarawak the lead.

With only the goalkeeper Mohd Shahril Shaa’ri to beat, he had his shot blocked for a corner.

Into the second half, Sarawak’s captain Shahrol Saperi came close to scoring in the 56th minute.

But again fine goalkeeping by the Sabah goalie resulted only in another corner.

Another close call for Sabah came in the 75th minute. But Joseph Kalang’s shot was off target.

The match then ended with neither side able to put the ball in the net.

Sarawak chief coach Robert Alberts was positive despite the result.

He spoke for many last night when he highlighted the good match atmosphere.

With the draw, Sarawak remain second in the league table with 24 points.

Sime Darby continue to stay at the top of the table on goal difference.

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