PENANG Girls are on course to winning the National Under-16 title for the third consecutive year when they beat Malacca 2-0 to top Group A with maximum points at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil Thursday.
Mimie Zulaikha Zaini gave the champions the lead with a 49th minute penalty corner, while Nur Hafizah Maznan scored the second off a field attempt in the 61st minute. Penang did not drop a single point in five matches and will meet either Negri Sembilan or Kuala Lumpur in the semi-finals.
Penang beat Negri Sembilan 3-1 in last year's final, with Mimie scoring a brace while Nur Hafizah scored the other goal. Mimie was aptly named as the Best Player of the final then.
Negri and Kuala Lumpur square off in the final girls Group B match today, and while KL, on nine points, need an outright win, Negri have 10 points going into the match and need only a draw to advance.
Selangor girls top Group B on 15 points, and their match against Pahang today is just a warm-up before they face Kedah in the semi-finals on Saturday.
Penang coach Leo Vincey have taken his charges to two titles, and is looking forward to a hat-trick: "We have yet to drop any points and the confidence among my players is very high as we look forward to claiming our third consecutive title. We have to wait another day to see who we meet in the semi-finals (Negri or KL) but it does not matter who we play, as long as my girls play their normal game, our chances of playing in the final are there."
RESULTS: Boys' Group A: Perlis 1 Penang 1, Johor 4 Terengganu 1, Selangor 0 Malacca 1; Group B: Kedah 5 Sabah 1, Negri Sembilan 1 Pahang 5, Perak 5 Kuala Lumpur 2.
Grils' Group A: Perak 2 Kedah 4, Penang 2 Malacca 0; Group B: Pahang 1 Negri Sembilan 6, Terengganu 1 Selangor 3.
FRIDAY: Boys' Group B: Kelantan v Sabah (4pm, Pitch I), Perak v Kedah (4pm, Pitch II), Negri Sembilan v Kuala Lumpur (6pm, Pitch II).
Girls' Group B: Negri Sembilan v Kuala Lumpur (7.30am, Pitch I), Terengganu v Sabah (8am, Pitch II), Selangor v Pahang (9.30am, Pitch I).
(All matches at National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil)