Monday, November 18, 2013
MALACCA sprang a surprise by beating Negri Sembilan 1-0 on the first day of the National Under-14 Hockey Tournament in Kuala Terengganu yesterday.
Ranked lower than their opponents who finished third in last year’s competition, Malacca claimed full points in the Group B opening match when Amir Wafiq Aizat converted a penalty corner in the 20th minute.
Malacca manager R. Manogaran said the result was tremendous considering three of the team’s key players from the Bukit Jalil and Bandar Penawar sport schools only arrived a few hours before the match.
“They took the bus here from their schools and they were obviously tired from the long journey but that did not stop them from playing their best hockey, especially goalkeeper Luqman (Nurharith Azman) who did well to keep a clean sheet.
“It was a pretty even game with both sides having ample scoring chances but it was us who found the lucky break from one of the penalty corners and although it is still early days, we are now more confident that our semi-final aim is within reach,” he said.
Negri Sembilan manager R. Subramaniam said it was unfortunate that his team failed to take advantage of their numerous scoring chances throughout the morning match at Batu Buruk Hockey Stadium.
“We enjoyed a bigger share of possession, we controlled most of the match but they were the ones who scored.
“It’s a disappointing result but we can’t let one defeat dictate the whole of the tournament as we are here to at least secure a semi-final berth and that is what we are going do,” he said.
In the Group A opening match, Kedah beat Sarawak 6-3.
In the girls category, Terengganu had little trouble against Sarawak when the hosts went on a scoring spree late in the match, winning 6-2 at Gong Badak Hockey Stadium.
RESULTS: Boys’ -- Group A: Kedah 6 Sarawak 3, Perak 8 Perlis 1, Penang x Sabah x.
Group B: Negri Sembilan 0 Malacca 1, Terengganu 1 Pahang 3, Selangor x Kelantan x.
Girls’: Group A: Sarawak 2 Terengganu 6, Malacca 5 Pahang 1.
Group B: Kelantan 1 Penang 6.
TODAY: Boys’ -- Group A: Kuala Lumpur v Perlis, Kedah v Sabah, Perak v Sarawak.
Group B: Johor v Malacca, Terengganu v Kelantan, Negri Sembilan v Pahang.
Girls’: Group A: Kuala Lumpur v Malacca.
Group B: Selangor v Johor, Kuala Lumpur v Malacca.