Thursday, March 25, 2010

KL start title hunt with confidence

Flying start: Kuala Lumpur’s Harvinder Singh (right) vies with Malacca’s Amirullah Zainul during their Razak Cup match in Kuantan yesterday. KL won 2-0.


KUANTAN: Kuala Lumpur got off to a good start in the Razak Cup hockey tournament when they defeated defending champions Malacca 2-0 in a Division One match at the Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium here yesterday.
KL, who are gunning to win the title for a record 19th time in the 48th edition of the tournament, went on the offensive from the start and took the lead in the 12th minute through national forward Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor.
The team with six internationals in their ranks created many more chances to score in the first half but drew blanks.
The second goal for KL came off the penalty corner with national midfielder Mohd Shahrun Nabil scoring in the 40th minute.
Malacca, who had the services of former national forward Chua Boon Huat and current national forward B. Namasivayam, failed to impress and they were lucky to lose by a small margin.
KL coach Nor Saiful Zaini said that he was satisfied with his team’s performance even though they missed a number of sitters.
“We are playing in a round-robin format and we need to score as many goals as possible in every match to qualify for the final,” he said.
“I am also happy with the performance of three Under-21 players – Harvinder (Singh), Mohd Syamin (Mohd Yusuf) and Fahed (Saifullah). They played well. However, we need to tighten the defence. We allowed Malacca to create a few scoring chances.”
KL will be seeking to claim full points against Penang today.
“My players are highly motivated after the win over Malacca and we should get the better of Penang, who only have the services of one national player (M. Jivan),” said Nor Saiful.
Perak also got off to a winning start, beating Negri Sembilan 3-1 in another Division One match.
National forward Azlan Misron (10th), Mohd Noor Khairul Azrain (33rd) and Mohd Hafifihafiz Hanafi (64th) scored for Perak. Negri’s goal came from M. Ragesh Waran in the 61st minute.
Hosts Pahang started in Division Two with a thumping 9-0 win over Brunei in Group B.
Mohd Aminuddin Abu scored a hat-trick (2nd, 43rd and 64th) and the other goals came from Ahmad Kazamirul Nasruddin (14th, 52nd), Ismail Abu (47th, 66th), Mohd Hafiz Zainul (34th) and Mohd Al-Fadhir Kasim (45th).