GOOD STATE OF MIND – THAT’S SARAWAK UNITED

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PETALING JAYA, Nov 9 – Pride – THAT’S SARAWAK UNITED, Passion – THAT’S SARAWAK UNITED, Dignity – THAT’S SARAWAK UNITED, Loyalty – THAT’S SARAWAK UNITED.
The above is what the Sarawak United players and officials have shown and expect more from the team when the Malaysia Cup enters the knockout stage after the completion of the  preliminary round group matches on Wednesday.
This is even when players and officials have yet to be paid for up to three months. Go a step further…apart from finishing runners-up in the lower tier Premier League that came with a promotion to the elite Super League for the new season, the Golden Hornbills are still in the running for the prestigious Malaysia Cup.
Not many had placed hope on the bunch of hardy fighters. Not when some of the key players, plus team officials were slapped with hefty fines and suspensions after the league match against rivals Negri Sembilan for misconduct on Sept 10.
The ill tempered match won by Negeri Sembilan 1-0 with an injury time goal cost Sarawak dearly and cost the Golden Hornbills the league title. Sarawak eventually finished runners-up to Negeri Sembilan.
Gaining promotion to the Super League, despite the off field issues, is an achievement for the people of Sarawak who will soon go to the polls. The hardcore football fans from East Malaysia salute the team for bringing glory to the state.
However, Sarawak United supremo Datuk Posa Majais, a businessman, has managed, despite the delays in salaries to overcome the shortcomings, knowing that football is the livelihood of the players.
Head coach E. Elavarasan has his magic touch with the players. Technical director B. Satiananthan, a former national coach, has embarked on a mission to produce more footballers from the state. The duo are a big hit with Sarawak football.
There is no denying that players like skipper Taylor Regan (Australia), midfielder Lee Chang Hoon (South Korea), striker Sandro Mendonca (Brazil) and Nigerian hitman Uche Agba are with the team because of Elavarasan.
Despite the Movement Control Orders (MCO) due to the nation wide coronavirus pandemic, Satiananthan has managed to get his mission going.
The plus factor is that football mad Sarawak has football talent in the deep interiors of the huge state where transportation is a problem.
Putting that aside, Sarawak marched into the Malaysian Cup quarter-finals after a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Sri Pahang at the Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan on Sunday in a Group A match. The win means Sarawak denied Pahang a quarter-final berth.
Kuala Lumpur City FC is on top of the group with 11 points from five matches while Sarawak is second on 10 points.
Wednesday will see Sarawak at home to winless Penang at the UiTM FC Stadium while Kuala Lumpur will be away to Pahang.
Substitute Rahim Razak slotted the winner just seconds before the final whistle – thanks to Nigerian ace Uche Agba who laid the groundwork with a brilliant run on the left.
Pahang had taken a 14th minute lead through a header by South Sudanese Kenny Athiu. Sarawak equalised through Brazilian Sandro Mendonca in the 31st minutes and the rest is history.
Latest news is soothing for Sarawak United. Datuk Posa, who is also a vice-president of the FA of Malaysia (FAM), has promised that overdue salaries will be settled in the next few days.
Ngap Sayot is very much alive in Sarawak football.

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