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Petrus Shitembi On Do-Or-Die Mission

Bek Persebaya Surabaya, Abu Rizal, berduel dengan gelandang Sabah FA, Petrus Shitembi, pada laga persahabatan di Stadion Gelora Bung Tomo, Surabaya, Sabtu (8/2). Persebaya menang 3-1 atas Sabah FA. (Photo: Aditya Wany)
With the state almost crippled by the surge in Covid-19 cases, Sabahans, especially their football fans, are hoping that their team will provide some much-needed joy. A lot is at stake for the Rhinos when they host UiTM in their final match on Saturday. 

However, Sabah FA midfielder Petrus Shitembi is not too concerned about where and when it will be played. He is more worried about the do-or-die mission. “I believe we all know the importance of this game. In games like these, one doesn’t really need anyone to motivate you. We all know what is at stake,” said the 28-year-old Namibian international. 

“It’s been a pretty tough year with the Covid situation. As players, we are not going to be sidetracked from our fight to stay up, whatever the circumstances.” In their last match, Kurniawan Dwi Yulianto’s side were thrashed 4-2 by league champions Johor Darul Ta’zim which would demoralise any footballer. Shitembi, however, has shrugged it off. “I think we have put up a good fight. 

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There’s still room for improvement. If we focus more on conceding less, then we stand a much better chance of winning. “When you look at our games, I think we’ve only managed to keep a single clean sheet. You just can’t afford to do that in the Super League. “Anyway, it’s been an amazing first-time experience for me playing against the big boys. “I hope it will continue for a long while.”

Apart from bringing some happiness to the state, they must get full points to stay alive in the Super League. Sabah are 10th with nine points while another relegation candidate Felda United are 11th with seven points. A win against UiTM would see them beating the drop. But the match is in limbo as the National Security Council had announced that Kota Kinabalu, Penampang and Putatan would be under lockdown. 

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