TENAGA Nasional might be severely crippled as their prolific goal-scorer Faizal Saari could be ruled out of the first leg semi-finals aginst Sapura in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League on Oct 4.
The second semi-finals would be between Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) and Maybank.
Faizal had scored 18 goals out of Tenaga Nasional's 26 total, but he might warm the bench in the first leg after picking up a yellow card against KLHC yesterday.
It brought his total demerit points to ten:"The demerit points were discussed in the managers meeting and agreed that it would be carried foward until the end, and we will stick to it," said Tournament Director V. Rajamanickam.
However, Tenaga Nasional manager Samsul Ariffin said he does not agree with the tournament director.
"We need to see the rules and the minutes of the team managers meeting stating that demerit points would be carried foward into the knock-out stage.
"It has been the precedent since the MHL was incepted that demerit points end at the League level, and not carried foward to the knock-out stages. So I strongly protest my player being victimised," said Samsul.
MHC secretary Johari Aziz than clarified that the decision was not minuted but Tenaga must follow the tournament regulation.
KLHC team manager George Koshy, who will also lose Ahmad Kazamirul to demerit points for the first leg, then said that the eight teams in the Premier and Division One semi-finals should decide if the demerit points are valid or not.
All eight teams then voted to abolish the demerit points at the end of the League, and the technical committee then decided to discuss the matter today before making a stand on the matter.
Meanwhile, Razie Rahim scored a hat-trick to hand Tenaga Nasional their first defeat of the season.
Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) came back from two goals down to beat Tenaga Nasional Berhad 4-3, and also avenged their 3-4 defeat to Tenaga in the first round of the MHL.
Amir Fariq (17th) and Shazril Irwan (21st) gave Tenaga a 2-0 lead, but KLHC skipper started the fight-back with a penalty corner deflection goal in the 25th minute.
Razie then scored a brace in the 39th and 46th minutes but Faizal Saari levelled the terms for Tenaga off a penalty stroke in the 64th minute. But Razie had the final word, deftly scoring the fourth KLHC goal in the 67th minute for full points.
P W D L F A Pts
KLHC 10 8 1 1 49 14 25
TNB 10 4 5 1 26 21 17
Sapura 10 4 4 2 24 21 16
Maybank 10 3 3 4 21 26 12
UniKL 10 2 2 6 19 28 8
Nur Insafi 10 1 1 8 22 51 4
P W D L F A Pts
Forces 6 4 2 0 12 4 14
Thunderbolt 6 4 1 1 12 6 13
BJSS 6 4 0 2 27 18 12
Johor HA 6 3 0 3 16 16 9
Uniten 6 2 1 3 10 12 7
UiTM 6 2 0 4 10 19 6
Politeknik 6 0 0 6 7 19 0
RESULTS -- Premier Division: Sapura 6 Nur Insafi-MBI 5, Tenaga 3 KLHC 4, Maybank 2 UniKL 3.
Oct 4: Premier Division Semi-finals (first leg) -- KLHC v Maybank (National Stadium Pitch II, 6pm), Tenaga Nasional v Sapura (National Stadium Pitch II, 8pm).
Division One Semi-finals -- Armed Forces v Bukit Jalil (National Stadium Pitch I, 6pm), Thunderbolts v Johor HA (National Stadium Pitch I, 8pm).
Oct 7: Premier Division Semi-finals (second leg) -- Maybank v KLHC (National Stadium Pitch II, 6pm), Sapura v Tenaga Nasional (National Stadium Pitch II, 8pm).
Division One Semi-finals -- Bukit Jalil v Armed Forces (National Stadium Pitch I, 6pm), Johor HA v Thunderbolts (National Stadium Pitch I, 8pm).
Scotland Women Head Coach Gordon Shepherd has revealed the squad of eighteen players for the FIH Champions Challenge competition taking place in Dublin, Ireland from 29 September-7 October.
The Scots claimed a bronze medal in last year's FIH Champions Challenge and eleven members of that squad will travel back to Dublin for participation in this season's competition. Shepherd has elevated a number of U21 players to the senior squad since then, whilst new faces have forced their way into the Dundonian's plans.
"I've been delighted with all the under 21 players who have made the step up to the senior squad and they have made a real impression this summer", said Shepherd.
"The likes of Aileen Davis, Susan McGilveray and Nikki Lloyd have also successfully demonstrated their cases for inclusion in the squad after excellent performances. They should all be happy with their selection."
This year, Scotland will face hosts Ireland, South Africa and USA in Pool A, whilst Australia, Belgium, India and Wales make up the remainder of the competing teams in Pool B.
Assessing the opposition the Scots will face in the Pool stage, Shepherd said, "The most important target is to retain our place in this competition, which means finishing in the top six. I'm confident we can beat Ireland, and in a one-off match, the result against South Africa could go either way. The Americans have made a number of changes since London 2012 and they will present a tough opening match for us in Dublin."
Indeed, Shepherd will have recent international matches against Ireland and South Africa to reflect upon as he plots his side's way through the competition. The Scots edged out the Irish 2-1 in a three match series at Auchenhowie in early September, but will expect a tough examination from the South Africans, who defeated the national side 4-0 in a five match series at Clydesdale as part of their preparations for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Having lost out 3-0 to USA at the semi-final stage of last year's Champions Challenge, Scotland will also be wary of the threat posed from the Americans to their progress. Although the USA finished last in the Olympic Games hockey competition this summer, they can still be regarded amongst the favourites to reach the latter stages.
Edinburgh University's Nikki Kidd will win her 100th international cap for Scotland during the competition, whilst Surbiton's Becky Merchant and Giffnock's Kareena Marshall are both in line to reach the 50th cap milestone.
"Nikki Kidd has been a fantastic asset to the national side since she moved into the midfield position. She's become a real threat from short corner set plays and I'm delighted with her contribution. Reaching 100 caps is an amazing achievement and she should be proud." said Shepherd.
Scotland Women: Nicki Cochrane, Ali Bell, Linda Clement (c), Leigh Fawcett, Ailsa Wyllie (all Grove Menzieshill), Catriona Ralph, Susan McGilveray, Nicola Skrastin, Amy Gibson, Morag McLellan (all Milne Craig Clydesdale Western), Samantha Judge, Sarah Robertson, Nikki Kidd (all Edinburgh University), Vikki Bunce (VWS Dundee Wanderers), Kareena Marshall (Giffnock), Becky Merchant (Surbiton HC), Aileen Davis (Clifton HC), Nikki Lloyd (Sevenoaks HC).
Please visit the FIH Champions Challenge website for more info on match schedule, results and news.
Scottish Hockey Union media release