LEAGUE champions Bandar Penawar Sports School Thunderbolt came back from the dead before they beat Petaling Jaya City Council 5-3 in a highly charged MHF-Milo-NSC Junor Hockey League semi-final yesterday.
In the other semi-finals, UniKL beat Bukit Jalil Sports School 2-1 and will play Thunderbolt for the Overall title tomorrow.
Thunderbolt were leading 3-1 by the 48th minute, but lost their composure when PJCC scored two quick goals to equalise.
However, the comeback was marred when PJCC goalkeeper Ahmad Syahir ran towards umpire Rosdi Pilus and manhandled him in the 65th minute, prompting the umpire to flash the red card.
Ahmad had to be restrained by his own players and was escorted out of the pitch, and PJCC lost their scipt and then the match.
PJCC took the lead in the 13th minute through a Hafiz Nawi, but Thunderbolt equalised through Noor Faeez Ibrahim six minutes later through a penalty corner attempt.
Faeez gave his team the lead on the stroke of halftime via another
Firhan Ashari then made it 3-1 for Thunderbolt in the 48th minute and the sports school thought they had the match in grips.
But PJCC fought back strongly after Rifan Azhar scored twice in as
many minutes, in the 50th and 52nd, to make in 3-3.
But after the red card, PJCC collapsed and, Faeez gave Thunderbolt the lead once again in the 61st minute before Fitri Saari made sure his team plays in the final by scoring the fifth in the 67th minute.
"It was the most difficult match for us since the JHL started and I congratulate PJCC players who were highly charged and committed. However, the red card marred the match and after that, I had to restrain some of my players and also PJCC players who wanted to have a go near the dresing room.
"But no untoward incident happened because cool heads prevailed, and now we are looking forward to winning the double on Sunday," said Thunderbolt coach Wan Roslan Rahman.
In the other semis, UniKL took the lead of Syamim Yusof in the 10th minute, only to see BJSS equalise through Faridzul Afiq in the 20th minute and the score remained till the breather.
However, a strike from Zulhairi Hashim in the 44th minute was enough to take UniKL into the final, and they could even afford to miss a penalty stroke in the 56th minute.
RESULTS: Semi-finals -- Bandar Penawar Sports School Thunderbolt 5 Petaling Jaya City Council 3; Bukit Jalil Sports School 1 UniKL 2.
TOMORROW: Final -- Bandar Penawar Sports School Thunderbolt v UniKL (Tun Razak Stadium, 5.30pm); Third-Fourth: Petaling Jaya City Council v Bukit Jalil Sports School (Tun Razak Stadium, 3.30pm).