Sunday, August 2, 2009

Anderson move closer to semis

ANDERSON of Perak stamped their mark in Group B of the
Champion Schools hockey tournament when they beat Khir Johari
of Kedah 2-1 at the Kuala Lumpur HA Stadium yesterday.

It was their second win, and it has placed them in a good
position to claim a semi-finals slot.

Anderson took the lead in the fifth minute off Soffian
Kamaruddin but Khir Johari equalsied off Firdaus Sabri in the
30th minute.

The Anderson winner was delivered by their skipper Jasdev
Singh in the 40th minute.

In another Group B match, Sultan Abu Bakar of Johor beat
Seksyen II of Selangor 3-1. Azizul Shah (second), Herwan Shah
(29th) and Azhari Zafree (53rd) scored for Johor, while the
Selangor goal was scored by Al-Hakim Maula.

In Group A, defending champions Hamzah Machang of Kelantan
suffered another blow when they lost 3-0 to Seberang Temerloh
of Pahang.

Ahmad Qusyairi (10th), Zulhannan Zainol (53rd) and Hafiz
Zainol (59th) delivered for Pahang. For Kelantan, it was
another nail in their hopes to qualify for the semi-finals,
after being held 1-1 by Mutiara Impian of Penang in the
curtain raiser.

Kelantan are the victims of a new rule introduced in the
Champion Schools, which capped the tournament for Under-18
players only.

Previously, even Form Six boys were allowed to play in the
tournament. Kelantan had to replace three of their top
players, and suffered a draw and a defeat.

RESULTS: Group A: Seberang Temerloh (Pah) 3 Hamzah Machang
(Kel) 0, Mutiara Impian (Pg) 2 Armed Forces 1; Group B:
Seksyen II (Sel) 1 Sultan Abu Bakar (Joh) 3, Khir Johari
(Ked) 1 Anderson (PK) 2.

TODAY: GROUP A -- Tunku Besar Tampin (NS) v Seberang
Temerloh (Pah) 7.30am, Armed Forces v Hamzah Machang (Kel)

GROUP B: St John (KL) v Seksyen II (Sel) 3.30pm, Khir
Johari (Ked) v Sultan Abu Bakar (Joh) 5.30pm.

P W D L F A Pts
PENANG 2 1 1 0 3 2 4
NEGRI 1 1 0 0 8 0 3
PAHANG 1 1 0 0 3 0 3
KELANTAN 2 0 1 1 1 4 1
ARMED FORCES 2 0 0 2 1 10 0


PERAK 2 2 0 0 8 1 6
KEDAH 2 1 0 1 6 4 3
JOHOR 2 1 0 1 3 7 3
K LUMPUR 1 0 0 1 2 5 0
SELANGOR 1 0 0 1 1 3 0

Australia made to sweat for win

By Bruce Hamilton

CANBERRA, August 2 – Australia had to work hard to defeat Malaysia 1-0 in the final of the three-nations tournament here Sunday.
Chris Ciriello converted Australia’s fifth penalty corner chance in the 24th minute, flicking into the middle of the net with Malaysia’s goalkeeper Kumar Subramanian getting a touch on the ball which fell behind him into the goal.
Australia earned a total of 13 penalty corners in the match and converted only one – drawing the ire of Australia’s coach, Richard Charlesworth.
“We scored one from 13 and that is pretty appalling and is obviously an area that requires attention and is disappointing. We have to spend a lot more time on that,” Charlesworth said.
“Our defence has been better over the last few days and it is an area that is critical,” Charlesworth said.
Australia shaded Malaysia for possession and maintained a high tempo of play but with lapses of quality.
“We are still too up and down and there is not an evenness to how we play and that something we have to look after. We have to have more consistent performance from everybody,” Charlesworth concluded.
Malaysia’s high strikers Faizal Saari and Ismail Abu had quality shots on goal after midfield turnovers of possession by Australia.
Australia’s midfield and backfield contributed to Malaysia’s lightning-fast counter-attacks with slow ball-speed on passes, making it easier for Malaysia to make interceptions and attack the ball carrier.
Malaysia’s coach Beng Hai Tai was delighted his 16th ranked team was able to match it with Australia ranked second in the world.“
This is a very good result for us,” Tai said.
“The boys did very well in defence today and while we conceded too many short corners we were much more in the game with possession of the ball which is what contributed to the result today,” Tai said.
Australia A plays Canada in a practice match on Tuesday and Canada and Australia play two more tests next week on Thursday and Friday.

Australia win Four-Nation

THE Kookaburras held off a determined Malaysian team to record a 1-0 victory in the final of the 3 Nation/ 4 Team series today in Canberra.
In what was a complete contrast to their previous encounter in which the Kookaburras won 11-3, the result was a mixed one for the Kookaburras who dominated Malaysia in terms of penalty corners, shots on goal and circle penetrations.
While pleased to get the win, and to also deny any penalty corners for Malaysia, the fact that only one goal was converted from 13 penalty corners will no doubt be addressed ahead of the 2010 World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand in late August.
The Kookaburras started the match well, recording four penalty corners within the first 15 minutes, with another shot on goal from Mark Knowles going agonisingly close.
However it was not until the 24 minute mark until the Kookaburras recorded their first and only goal of the match, a penalty corner converted by up and comer Chris Ciriello.
When the Kookaburras recorded two more penalty corners in the first six minutes of the second half it appeared only a matter of time before they would score again.
However to the credit of the Malaysian defence the second goal never came.
Malaysia remained under siege throughout the second half conceding 17 circle penetrations and 10 shots of goal.
Kookaburras coach Ric Charlesworth paid particular attention to his teams disappointing penalty corner conversion rate after the game.
”The conversion rate was appalling. They (Malaysia) were good in defence but it is something we need to pay some attention to,” said Charlesworth.
The Kookaburras and an Australia A side will remain in Canberra to play Canada in three separate matches next week.
Kookaburras 1 Malaysia 0 (1-0 half time) Goals – Ciriello 24m PC
Hockey Australia media release

Australia 1 Malaysia 0

MALAYSIA pulled off another surprise when they only lost 1-0
to Kookaburras in the final of the Four-Nation in Canberra
yesterday. In the pool match, Malaysia were hammered 11-3, but pulled
up their socks and their only blemish was letting in the
winner scored by Chris Ciriello. The Kookaburras are the Australian national team.

In the play-off, Australia A beat Canada 4-1.
Coach Tai Beng Hai's men will next head to New Zealand, for
a series of friendlies with the Kiwis in preparation for the
November World Cup qualifier.

"When we lost 11-3, I tried playing open hockey with the
Kookaburras but the plan back-fired. So we went back to tactical play, and only lost 1-0 to Kookaburras," said Beng Hai.

And considering that they beat the Kookaburras 1-0 in a friendly before the Four-Nation, Beng Hai feels they are heading towards the right direction.
"These are all friendlies where I can experiment, not only with some new players, but also try out different approaches to prepare for the qualifier," said Beng Hai.