KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 — Sabah FC confirmed advancing to the knockout round of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup after defeating Hougang United of Singapore 4-1 at Jalan Besar Stadium in the republic tonight.
In a Group H match, the hosts conceded the lead to Sabah after Daniel Ting’s swipe pass into the penalty box area went into the feet of Hougang defender Naoki Kuriyama who failed to clear the ball in the 16th minute.
However heavy rain and thunderstorm forced the game which began 8pm to be halted for 30 minutes.
As soon as play resumed, the Rhinos continued to widen the score when Darren Lok converted a penalty in the 45th minute.
In the second half, a cross by Miguel Ángel Garrido Cifuentes into the penalty box saw a Hougang defender attempting to head the ball away but it bounced up before Ramon Machado snatched the chance to slam in Sabah’s third goal.
In the 77th minute Hougang suffered another setback when Datuk Ong Kim Swee’s boys celebrated their four goal after Anders Aplin pushed the ball into his own goal.
In injury time, the hosts were rewarded with their first goal via Gabriel Quak just before the final whistle.
The result in Singapore saw Sabah comfortably leading Group H with 12 points and having one match remaining at group stage and will meet Indonesia’s representative, PSM Makassar on December 14.
Group H table also saw Vietnam’s Hai Phong FC and PSM Makassar having seven points each in the second and third placing after they played to a 1-1 draw tonight. — Bernama