Friday, August 2, 2013

Again.. the 69th min syndrome

Malaysian and England players wore a black arm-band and there was a one-minute silence for Chua Boon Huat.

MALAYSIA have England, Pakistan and South Africa for  company in the Junior World to be held in New Delhi from Dec  6-15.
   In the 16-team tournament, Malaysia must finish among  the top-two in their Group to qualify for the quarter-finals.
    And going by form, it is not an impossible task for coach K.  Dharmaraj’s boys.
   The national juniors are on a nine-match tour of Europe,  where they won two matches against Poland Juniors, lost one  to Poland seniors; and then lost all three matches against  Belgium.
    But there was mixed-news when they moved to England to  play another three matches, as the 69th minute syndrome  saw them being held 3-3 by the English.
   For the record, five national juniors were left behind to  train with Paul Revington for the Asia Cup.
    “These three matches are important, as we are in the same  group as England and need to plan on how to collect three  points form them in New Delhi.
    “We took a 2-0 lead, but then let in two goals in the final  minutes of the first half, and were held to a draw in the 69th  minute,” said juniors manager Mirnawan Nawawi.
    The juniors also lost the first match, 3-2 to Belgium, when  they let in a 69th minute goal.
    “That is one of the worries we have now, as the defenders  tend to give away penalty corners easily in the dying minutes  of a match.
    “We are working to rectify that problem, as we can’t afford  it against England, South Africa and Pakistan in the World  Cup if we want to play in the knock-out stages,” said  Mirnawan.
    Against England, the Malaysian goals were scored by  Zulhairi Hashim (12th), Rezuan Jaafar (28th) and Syamin  Yusof (62nd).
    The England goals were score in the 33rd, 35th and 69th  minutes and the next two matches will be played today and  tomorrow.
    Malaysia will get another chance to spar with their Group  D opponents in full strength, as England, South Africa and  Pakistan have been confirmed for the seven-team Sultan of  Johor Cup on Sept 19-29.
   The other teams are South Korea, Argentina and India. All  seven teams have confirmed for the World Cup as well.
    JUNIOR WORLD CUP -- GROUP A: Germany, South Korea,  Belgium, Egypt; GROUP B: Australia, Spain, Argentina,  France; GROUP C: Netherlands, New Zealand, India, Canada;  GROUP D: Malaysia, England, Pakistan, South Africa.