Friday, March 31, 2017

JHL: UniKL scrape past BJSS Juniors...

Pic: Taufik Kamjai celebrating after scoring UniKL's first goal.

UNIVERSITI Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) scraped past Bukit Jalil SportS School (BJSS) Juniors 2-0 in the only Division One Junior Hockey League match Friday.
  Three other Division One matches had to be postponed as their players will head to India this weekend to play in the Asian Schools tournament.
  However, leg cramps were the order of the day in this Under-19 tournament, as two UniKL and four BJSS Juniors fell like pins in the last quarter.
  BJSS Juniors coach S. Prakash attributed it to the recently concluded National Under-16 tournament.
  "All my players went back to their states to play in the National Under-16 and have yet to fully recover from their injuries and stamina was a little low. I'm glad we did not lose by a bigger margin," said Prakash.
  UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj also placed cramps on his check-list.
  "This (cramps) can't be happening to such young players and its on my checklist. However, it was a decent performance from a team that only had five players that had previous experience playing in the junior league.
  "Actually it was only their third match together, and they lost the earlier two friendlies by big margins and so this win is a welcome relief," said Arul Selvaraj.
  UniKL got their goals off Taufik Kamjai (seventh) and Chairil Rusli (39th).
  RESULTS: Division One: UniKL Young Guns 2 BJSS Juniors 0.
  DIVISION TWO: Group A -- MSSP Stinger 0 MSS Kedah 3, MSSC-UFL Penang 1 MSSPP-USM 7, USM Juniors 0 MSN Young Lions 2; Group C: Johor Baru HA 1 Datuk Taha 1 (Johor Baru won shoot-out 4-2).
  GIRLS' -- Group A: MSN Kedah 2 Sabah SS 0, USM Juniors 0 CBN 3.
  SATURDAY -- Girls Group A: Wipers v SSTMI (KLHA, 5pm); Group B: USM v Zaaba (USM, 6pm), Uniten v Johor Juniors (KPM, 5pm).
  SUNDAY: Division One -- Johor Juniors v Olak-NurInsafi (Batu Pahat, 5pm).
  Division Two: Group B -- MISCF-UFL v Terengganu Juniors (KLHA, 8pm), MSSWPKL v MCKK (KPM, 5pm); Group C: Young Hurricanes v TBSS Tampin (Malacca, 5pm), SSTMI Juniors v MBMB Warriors (SSTMI, 5pm).

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Junior Hockey League: MISC-UFL bent on development...


Pic: MISC-UFL Kuala Lumpur players training at Kuala Selangor during their one week camp there.

THE Junior Hockey League (JLH) season begins Friday, with three Division One matches postponed due to the Asian Schools Hockey in India.
  Division One will have 10 teams, with League champions Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) and Overall champions Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) starting off as early favourites.
  And In Division Two, 20 teams have been drawn in three groups and there are no clear favourites in this development group.
  The Girls' JHL will also be held simultaneously with the 11 teams placed in two groups.
  The number of teams competing in the Boys and Girls events is huge, and this augurs well for the development of the sport at the grassroots.
  And two teams in Division Two will be on a mission of their own -- to increase the number of Indian hockey players in the country.
  Malaysian Indian Sports Council (MISC) in collaboration with Universal Fitness & Leisure (UFL) fielded one team last season, and came back stronger this year with two teams in the Northern and Central zones.
  MISC-UFL Kuala Lumpur and MISC-UFL Penang will see 41 Indian and Punjabi boys competing in the JHL.
  "The objective of fielding MISC teams is to give boys of Indian origin (even Indian Muslims) a chance to play hockey and be spotted by scouts for further development.
  "There used to be many Indian and Punjabi players in the national teams, but today, only goalkeeper S. Kumar and Baljit Singh (Charun Singh) are left," said former international Nishel Kumar who will be coaching the Central zone side.
  After two months of training, the MISC KL went for a one-week camp in Kuala Selangor.
  "In training and during friendlies, the players were just average. But after undergoing a one-week camp during the school holidays, I can see some positive changes which I hope to see during our first match (on Sunday) against Terengganu Juniors," said Nishel.
  Nishel will be coaching a young side with four 14-year-olds, two 15-year-olds and 10 16-year-olds.
  The pioneer MISC side did not do well last season, as out of the seven matches, they only won one and drew one.
  But with a long-term development programme in mind, MISC have set higher goals to achieve in the next few years from these young players.
  MISC-KL -- Goalkeepers: Kumara Guru, S. Ramanan, Sanjit Singh Randhawa.
  Sharan Kumar, P. Roshan, S. Surenthar, P. Tanesh, Paul Chelladurai, T. Praveen, R. Phavineshmittra, P. Mithiran, Harroshan Singh Kuldip Singh, Harsuraj Singh Kuldip Singh, R. Kanesh, D. Vickneswaran, S. Shivaneishan, H. Kishorthanan, Danish Kumar, T. Perabu, S. Rishikumar, R. Thivagaran.
  MISC-Penang -- Goalkeepers: Haamrid Kumar, K. Harishan.
  B. Visnu, Chin Peng Hoong (Vinok), A. Muhkkesh Adrian, A. Gubenthiran, G. Mithiran, A. Arunan, Thullsisyamanath, N. Mugeash, M. Vassudevaan, S. Thanesh, V. Veeran, S. Tharushan, M. Nilavarasan a/l Mahendran, Angad Singh Khalsa, Gobind Singh Khalsa, B. Yuvvaraj, Jasraj Singh Sarwan Singh, Satvinder Singh Naranjan Singh.
  FRIDAY: Division One: UniKL Young Guns v BJSS Juniors (KLHA, 6pm).
  DIVISION TWO: Group A -- MSSP Stinger v MSS Kedah (Kuala Perlis, 5pm), MSSC-UFL Penang v MSSPP-USM (Sungai Petani, 5pm), USM Juniors v MSN Young Lions (USM, 6pm); Group C: Johor Baru HA v Datuk Taha (Taman Daya, 5pm).
  GIRLS' -- Group A: MSN Kedah v Sabah SS (Lela Pahlawan, 5pm), USM Juniors v CBN (USM, 4pm).

Monday, March 27, 2017

JHL; Olak-NurInsafi in a bind...

Pic: Olak-NurInsafi manager Joseph de Silva.

OLD La Sallians Asociation of Klang (Olak) are crying foul because they are not being allowed to change two players for the Junior Hockey League which begins end of March.
   Olak, who have re-branded themselves as Olak-NurInsafi, are even ready to pull out of the tournament if they are not allowed to do so.
  "We understand that the registration of players closed on March 15 and we did submit our name list. However, two of our players can't make it due to various reasons and I applied on compassion grounds to make changes.
  "But the Tournament Director rejected it saying that he will follow the rules and we need to show a medical cert to make changes. This boys have different problems, and we feel victimised, as we have been given the run-around on a small matter," said Olak-NurInsafi manager Joseph de Silva.
  De Silva is also peeved that after approving the JHL fixtures to start on March 31, he received an email stating that three matches on that day, including Olak's, will be postponed to allow sports school boys to play in the Asian Under-18 Schools Championship in India.
  "I received the email on March 25, saying that March 31 matches will be postponed to the end of the JHL because of the Asian Schools tournament.
  "We have already made bookings for accommodation and travel as we were slated to play in Johor Baru on Friday (at SSTMI) and on Sunday in Batu Pahat.
  "I believe since they want us to cancel our bookings and travel arrangements and pay a fine, the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) should also hear our case before making a blanket judgement.
  "Olak are the JHL pioneers and we will be playing in our 22nd year in the JHL. if the MHC can't show some compassion towards us, we might as well withdraw," said De Silva.
  Another team is also facing the same predicament, as they can't replace a player who went AWOL after signing the consent form.
  JHL Tournament Director P. Kuganesan said he is just going by the book.
  "As all are aware, registration closed on March 15 and players can only be replaced if the team management can provide a medical certificate to state that he is not fit, or injured and can't play.
  "As for the Asian Schools, I was informed by the Ministry of Education that sports school players from BJSS Thunderbolts, Pahang SS-Thunderbolts, and SSTMI-Thunderbolts will be in India for the tournament.
  "As such, we had to postpone three matches involving these teams on the first day of the JHL season.
  "Olak or other teams with these problems can approach higher ranked officials in the MHC if they feel they are being victimised," said Kuganesan.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

National U16: Kirandeep Kaur leads KL title charge

Pic: Kirandeep Kaur

FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD Kirandeep Kaur Gurdip Singh led a dramatic Kuala Lumpur fightback to beat Sabah 4-3 in the final of the National Under-16 tournament at the Kuala Lumpur HA Stadium yesterday.
  Sabah took a 2-0 lead but a strong second half handed Kuala Lumpur girls their first ever Under-16 title since the inception of the tournament in 2008.
  Kirandeep scored two goals in the 28th and 45th minutes, while the other goals were scored by Nur Syaza Afiqah (15th), Hasya Syahida Saifuddin (34th).
  Sabah were unfortunate, as they took a 2-0 lead off Cyra Cynthia Anis (11th) and Inka Shafika Juani (14th) before they collapsed under pressure. The other goal was scored by Cyra Cynthia Anis in the 33rd minute.
  "When we were two goals down, there was tremendous pressure on us to make a comeback, but I kept pushing from midfield and team-work won us the title," said Kirandeep.
  KL coach A. Kannagi, a former international, attributed the win to strong minds.
  "My girls never gave up, and fought till the final whistle and that was what separated us from Sabah who had shown a real solid form in this tournament," said Kannagi.
  RESULTS: Boys' Final -- Perak 1 Terengganu 0; Third-Fourth: Pahang 2 Sabah 1; Fifth-Sixth: Malacca 2 Negri Sembilan 0.
  Girls' Final: Sabah 3  Kuala Lumpur 4; Third-Fourth: Selangor 3 Johor 1; Fifth-Sixth: Penang 5 Negri Sembilan 0.

Friday, March 24, 2017

National U16: Sabah Girls step closer to final...

SABAH Girls' took a step closer to playing in the final of the National Under-16 hockey tournament when they came back from a goal down to beat Johor 2-1.
  Nor Aina Najwa gave Johor a ninth minute lead, but a brace from Cyra Cynthia Anis in the 50th and 58th minutes handed Sabah the crucial three points.
  Sabah team manager Ibrisham Nadzri was not happy with the way his girls played in the first two quarters.
  "We lost control of the match for two quarters, but recovered after the rain came pouring down (at half-time). But we can't afford the same attitude against Negri Sembilan tomorrow (today) if we want to play in the final," said Ibrisham.
  In the Round Two of the tournament, the top two teams in the boys and girls groups are divided into Group X and Y after an open draw. The winners in both the groups advance to the final.
  RESULTS -- Boys' Group X: Pahang 2 Malacca 1; Group Y: Sabah 2 Perak 4.
  Girls' Group X: Kuala Lumpur 2 Selangor 0; Group Y: Johor 1 Sabah 2.
  FRIDAY -- Boys' Group X: Malacca v Terengganu (KLHA, 7pm); Group Y: Perak v Negri (KPM, 7pm).
  Girls' Group X: Selangor v Penang (KLHA, 5pm); Group Y: Sabah v Negri (KPM, 5pm).
  
ROUND TWO STANDINGS

BOYS' 

GROUP X

         P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
PAHANG   1  1  0  0  2  1  3
MALACCA  1  0  0  1  1  2  0
T'GGANU  0  0  0  0  0  0  0


GROUP Y

         P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
PERAK    1  1  0  0  4  2  3
SABAH    1  0  0  1  2  4  0
NEGRI    0  0  0  0  0  0  0

GIRLS' 

GROUP X

         P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
K LUMPUR 1  1  0  0  2  0  3
SELANGOR 1  0  0  1  0  2  0
PENANG   0  0  0  0  0  0  0

GROUP Y
         P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
SABAH    1  1  0  0  2  1  3
JOHOR    1  0  0  1  1  2  0
NEGRI    0  0  0  0  0  0  0

Nat U16: Negri and Sabah big winners...

NEGRI SEMBILAN and Sabah were the biggest winners as the National Under-16 hockey tournament entered the medal rounds.
  Both the state's Girls' and Boys' teams moved into the knock-out stage with Sabah boys and girls emerging tops in their respective groups.
  Negri girls and boys did just enough to finish second in both their groups, but will now have a chance to play in the final.
  Fourteen boys and 13 girls teams are competing in the tournament, and the top-two teams in each of the three groups advance to the knock out stage where a fresh competition is held to decide the champions.
  Yesterday, in the final group match, Sabah girls showed their prowess when they hammered Kelantan 5-1 even though they had topped the group before entering the pitch.
  The Sabah goals were scord by Inka Shafika Juani (eighth), Nor Asfarina Isahyifiqa (10th), Nur Sabrinah (22nd), Felliana John (25th) and Cyra Cynthia Anis (51st).
  Nur Alya Iwana scored for Kelantan in the 38th minute.
  RESULTS -- Boys' Group A: Johor 3 Kedah 1, Penang 1 Negri 5; Group B: Perak 3 Perlis 2, Malacca 4 Sarawak 2.
  GIRLS' Group A: Kedah 2 Sarawak 2, Sabah 5 Kelantan 1; Group B: Penang 6 Negri 1, Terengganu 0 Pahang 10.
  WEDNESDAY -- Boys' Group X: Pahang v Malacca (KPM, 7pm); Group Y: Sabah v Perak (KLHA, 7pm).
  Girls' Group X: Kuala Lumpur v Selangor (KPM, 5pm); Group Y: Johor v Sabah (KLHA, 5pm).
  GROUPINGS -- Boys' Group X: Malacca, Terengganu, Pahang; Group Y: Perak Negri Sembilan, Sabah.
  Girls' Group X: Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang; Group Y: Johor, Sabah, Negri Sembilan.
  Note: All matches at Jalan Pantai, Kuala Lumpur.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Nat U16: Sabah Boys' & Girls' on super high...

SABAH Boys' and Girls' made the next round of the National Under-16 without losing any match, and aim to make the finals this year.
  The boys won bronze last year by beating Pahang 1-0, while Sabah girls are a revelation as they ended ninth, but are in stunning form a year later.
  Tuesday, Sabah girls beat defending champions Selangor 4-0, and top Group A with a match in hand against Kelantan today. The scorers were Inka Shafika Juani (19th), Kersimah Kauran (33rd, 53rd) and Syunita Manap (47th).
  Sabah HA secretary Avtar Singh said they will field reserves against Kelantan.
  "The group job is done, as we will remain tops whatever the outcome against Kelantan, so we will try out our resrve players before the knock-out stage," said Avtar.
  Fourteen boys and 13 girls teams are competing for titles, and have been divided into three groups in each gender.
  The top-two teams in each group will be divided into two groups of three teams each in an open draw and the group champions play in the final, while runners-up for bronze.
  "These boys and girls are product of Sabah 1Mas who were then placed in the Sabah Sports School from Form One onward. Over the years, we have managed to slowly train them and are now looking forward to both our teams playing in the final of this tournament," said Avtar.
  RESULTS: Boys' Group A: Penang 0 Terengganu 2, Negri 4 Kedah 0; Group B: Perak 0 Selangor 3, Perlis 3 Sarawak 0.
  GIRLS' Group A: Sabah 4 Selangor 0, Kelantan 4 Sarawak 1; Group B: Pahang 1 Negri 2, Terengganu 1 Penang 11; Group C: Perak 2 Malacca 3, Johor 0 Kuala Lumpur 2.
  WEDNESDAY -- Boys' Group A: Johor v Kedah (KPM, 5pm), Penang v Negri (KLHA, 5pm); Group B: Perak v Perlis (KLHA, 3pm), Malacca v Sarawak (KPM, 3pm).
  GIRLS' Group A: Kedah v Sarawak (KPM, 7.30am), Sabah v Kelantan (KLHA< 7.30am); Group B: Penang v Negri (KPM, 9.15am), Terengganu v Pahang (KLHA, 9.15am).
  Note: All matches at Jalan Pantai, Kuala Lumpur.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

National U16: Selangor Girls 4 Sarawak 0


Pic: Selangor's Nur Farah Hanis scored five goals to date...

GIRLS' Under-16 champions Selangor romped away with their third win, when they hit Sarawak 4-0 Monday.
  However, the will face their Group A nemesis in Sabah Tuesday, in what coach Azman Ali believes will be their toughest hurdle.
  Selangor had earlier hammered Kelantan 7-0 and Kedah 4-1.
  "So far, the tournament has been going great for us, but I believe to top Group A, we must beat Sabah who have also showed an impressive form," said Azman.
  Selangor's Nur Farah Hanis is the tournament top-scorer with six goals, and she is only 14-years-old.
  "She also played for Selangor last year and after three matches here, she has scored five field and one penalty corner goal. This girl has plenty of talent in her considering her age," said Azman.
  And who does Azman fear in this season?
  "It has to be Kuala Lumpur. They have shown great determination, and the girls are well prepared. We hope not to cross their path in the knock-out (open draw) and only face them in the final," said Azman.
  RESULTS -- Boys' Group A: Negri 1 Johor 1, Kedah 1 Terengganu 9; Group B: Perlis 0 Malacca 3, Sarawak 2 Selangor 2; Group C: Kelantan 4 Pahang 6, Kuala Lumpur 0 Sabah 2.
  Girls' Group A: Kelantan 5 Kedah 0, Sarawak 0 Selangor 4; Group C: Kuala Lumpur 2 Malacca 0, Johor 1 Perak 0.
  TUESDAY: Boys' Group A: Penang v Terengganu (KPM, 5pm), Negri v Kedah (KLHA, 5pm); Group B: Perak v Selangor (KPM, 7pm), Perlis v Sarawak (KLHA, 7pm).
  GIRLS' Group A: Sabah v Selangor (KPM, 7,30am), Kelantan v Sarawak (KLHA, 7.30am); Group B: Pahang v Negri (KPM, 9,15am), Terengganu v Penang (KLHA, 9.15am); Group C: Perak v Malacca (KPM, 3pm), Johor v Kuala Lumpur (KLHA, 3pm).
  Note: All matches at Jalan Pantai, Kuala Lumpur.

Monday, March 20, 2017

National U16: Inka leads Sabah charge

Pic: Inka Shafika Juani 

SABAH Girls' mauled Sarawak 10-0, with Inka Shafika Juani helping herself to a hat-trick in the National Under-16 tournament in Jalan Pantai Sunday.
  Sabah, who beat Kedah 5-0 on Saturday, will face a sterner test in the next two matches against defending champions Selangor and Kelantan.
  The 10 were scored by  Cyra Cynthia Anis (fourth, 42nd), Sufiamira Basri (30th), Inka Shafika Juani (35th, 37th, 55th), Kersimah Kauran (48th), Melanie Juim (51st) and Flovenia Silverius (52nd, 57th).
  Team manager Ibrisam Nadzri said: "We have been in full training for three weeks before arriving here but both the early matchs do not indicate our true strength. We face tougher opponents in Selangor and Kelantan, and that will be our real tests."
  Selangor Girls' also won both the matches to date by hammering Kelantan 7-0 and Kedah 4-1.
  RESULTS: Boys' Group A -- Kedah 0 Penang 2, Terengganu 0 Johor 2; Group B: Sarawak 2 Perak 5, Selangor 1 Malacca 3; Group C: Kuala Lumpur 2 Kelantan 3, Sabah 2 Pahang 1.
  GIRLS' Group A: Sarawak 0 Sabah 10, Selangor 4 Kedah 1; Group B: Penang 0 Pahang 0, Negri 3 Terengganu 0.
  MONDAY -- Boys' Group A: Negri v Johor (KPM, 5pm), Kedah v Terengganu (KLHA, 5pm); Group B: Perlis v Malacca (KPM, 7pm), Sarawak v Selangor (KLHA, 7pm); Group C: Kelantan v Pahang (KPM, 3pm), Kuala Lumpur v Sabah (KLHA, 3pm).
  Girls' Group A: Kelantan v Kedah (KPM, 7.30am), Sarawak v Selangor (KLHA, 7.30am); Group C: Kuala Lumpur v Malacca (KPM, 9.15am), Johor v Perak (KLHA, 9.15am).
  Note: All matches at Jalan Pantai, Kuala Lumpur.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Hasya leads KL's charge...

SKIPPER Hasya Syahida scored four goals to help Kuala Lumpur Girls' hammer Perak 8-0 in the National Under-16 tournament Saturday.
  KL, the bronze medallists last year, fielded 15 Titiwangsa Sports School players while Perak had 15 Gunung Rapat Sports School players.
  KL coach A. Kannagi said: "Some of my players have been together for the last four years and it was a good start to the tournament.
  "We hope to exchange our bronze to gold this year."
  The KL goals were scored by Nur Syaza Afiqah (seventh), Hasya Syahida (13th, 18th, 38th, 52nd), Kirandeep Kaur (17th, 35th) and Nur Natasha (26th).
  KL Girls next play Malacca on Monday.
  RESULTS -- BOYS': Group A -- Terengganu 4 Negri 1, Johor 0 Penang 3; Group B: Selangor 3 Perlis 0, Malacca 2 Perak 4; Group C: Sabah 5 Kelantan 5, Pahang 4 Kuala Lumpur 1.
  GIRLS': Group A -- Selangor 7 Kelantan 0, Kedah 0 Sabah 5; Group C: Kuala Lumpur 8 Perak 0, Malacca 1 Johor 3.
  SUNDAY: Boys Group A -- Kedah v Penang (KPM, 7.30pm), Terengganu v Johor (KLHA, 7.30pm); Group B: Sarawak v Perak (KPM, 3.30pm), Selangor v Malacca (KLHA, 3.30pm); Group C: Kuala Lumpur v Kelantan (KPM, 5.30pm), Sabah v Pahang (KLHA, 5.30pm).
  GIRLS' Group A: Sarawak v Sabah (KPM, 9.15am), Selangor v Kedah (KLHA, 9.15am); Group B: Penang v Pahang (KPM, 7.30am), Negri v Terengganu (KLHA, 7.30am).
  Note: All matches at Jalan Pantai, Kuala Lumpur.

Friday, March 17, 2017

National U16: Perlis the odd One..

FOURTEEN Boys' and 13 Girls' teams will compete in the National Under-16 hockey tournament at two venues in Kuala Lumpur starting on Saturday.
  Only Perlis failed to send a team for the Girls, while the rest of the states fielded teams for both genders.
  Both the tournaments will be played at the Kuala Lumpur HA, and Education Ministry artificial pitches in Jalan Pantai.
  Last year, held in Malacca, the tournament was a nine-a-side event, but its back to 11-a-side.
  Boys' defending champions are Terengganu, while the Girls' champions are Selangor. Terengganu were held to a 1-1 draw by Selangor, but won the shoot-out 2-0.
  Selangor also ended with a 2-2 draw against Penang, but won the shoot-out 3-1.
  Sabah were initially supposed to host both the events, but a Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) inspection team found their pitch and facilities not up to the mark.
  The MHC took over the hosts job, and KLHA were roped in as the 11th hour venue.
  "Both our girls and boys teams have been training for a month now, and hopefully the perform much better than last year," said KLHA secretary V. Rajamanickam.
  While the KL girls beat Malacca 3-0 for bronze, the KL boys  finished ninth.
  Boys -- Group A: Penang, Johor, Terengganu, Negri Sembilan, Kedah;   Group B: Malacca, Perak, Perlis, Selangor, Sarawak; Group C: Kuala Lumpur, Pahang, Sabah, Kelantan.
  Girls -- Group A: Selangor, Kedah, Sabah, Kelantan, Sarawak; Group B: Pahang, Negri Sembilan, Terengganu, Penang; Group C: Perak, Malacca, Johor, Kuala Lumpur.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

World League Rd 2 Dhaka: GOLD for Malaysia!

THE NATIONAL hockey players came back from two goals down to hold China 2-2 and then win the World League Round Two gold medal on penalty shoot-out in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday.
  In the shoot-out, Malaysia won 5-3.
  Malaysia and China, by reaching the final in Dhaka, had already qualified for the World League Semifinals and will play either in Johannesburg on July 9-23, or in London on Jun 15-25.
  Playing on an almost dry pitch, due to strong winds, China took the lead at the first quarter break off a penalty corner attempt.
  Lanky defender Du Talake's thundering flick in the 15th minute beat custodian Hafizuddin Othman for the lead.
  And Malaysia were in trouble by the 22nd minute, when Jun Su tucked in from close range to increase the lead.
  Malaysia's misery was compounded in the 25th minute, when Najmi Jazlan missed a penalty stroke chance by flicking straight to goalkeeper Ming Cheng.
  Ming Cheng was the hero of the moment, as he saved five point blank attempts by Malaysia, while one was saved by the post.
  Malaysia bungled eight penalty corners and a penalty stroke by half-time.
  Finally, the 11th penalty corner was tucked in by Shahril Saabah in the 46th minute.
  And the 12th penalty corner in the 55th minute was also made good, as Najmi Jazlan scored the equaliser and took the match to shoot-out.
   RESULTS: Final -- Malaysia 2 China 2 (Malaysian win shoot-out 5-3; Third-Fourth: Oman 1 Egypt 5; Fifth-Sixth: Bangladesh 3 Ghaha 3 (Bangladesh win sudden-death shoot-out 4-3; Seventh-Eighth: Fiji 3 Sri Lanka 5.

Now for the gold medal...

MALAYSIA qualified for the World League Semifinals, when they beat Egypt 5-0 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Saturday.
  The finalists here will play either in London or South Africa to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in India.
  Egypt opted to defend in numbers, and rely on counter-attacks and it back-fired on them.
  Malaysia will now play China for the World League Round Two gold medal today. China beat Oman 5-1 in the other semi-finals.
  Razie Rahim calmed the Malaysian nerves when he fired a low penalty corner towards goalkeeper Wael Noureldin's left in the 15th minute for the lead.
  This was what Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) Technical Director Terry Walsh had recommended a day before as he noticed Wael was weak in that area.
  After that the goals came easy off Fitri Shaari (26th), Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (30th), Shahril Saabah (44th) and Aiman Nik Rosemi (49th).  
  After accomplishing their first goal, Malaysian players took a portrait shot -- and are looking forward to claiming the gold medal as well.
  "One target down, now for the gold medal," said a relieved Malaysian coach Stephen van Huizen.
  On paper and going by this tournament's form China are no match for Malaysia.
  "Credit to the players as they displayed an all-round polished performance. This was our best match in this tournament so far, and I believe that we can beat China in the final to defend our World League gold medal," said van Huizen.
  In the 2015 World League Round Two in Singapore, Malaysia whipped Poland 8-0 in the final.
  Looking forward, the coach has many more options for the World League Semifinals as four regulars were left behind due to injuries and family commitments.
  "Yes we left four players (S. Kumar, Firhan Ashaari, Baljit Singh, Faizal Shaari) back home and I believe we will have a much stronger team for the World League Semifinals where we hope to qualify for the India World Cup," said van Huizen.
  Johannesburg will host the World League Semifinals on Jul 9-23, while in London it will be on Jun 15-25.
  RESULTS: Semi-finals: Malaysia 5 Egypt 0, China 5 Oman 1.
  Fifth-Eighth -- Sri Lanka 0 Bangladesh 9, Ghana 11 Fiji 2.
  SUNDAY: Final -- Malaysia v China (6pm); Third-Fourth: Oman v Egypt (3.45pm); Fifth-Sixth: Bangladesh v Ghana (1.30pm); Seventh-Eighth: Fiji v Sri Lanka (11.15am).
  Note: Malaysian time.

Malaysia v Sri Lanka in pictures...

WORLD LEAGUE RD 2 DHAKA 2017 








Saturday, March 11, 2017

Malaysia beat Egypt 5-0

MALAYSIA beat Egypt 5-0 to breeze into the final of the World League Round Two in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Saturday.
  The win also saw them qualify for the next level -- the World League Semifinals either in London or South Africa which is a qualifier for the 2018 World Cup in India.
  Egypt tried to defend and rely on counter-attacks, but the strategy back-fired.
  The first quarter saw Egypt defending in numbers, and this made the job of the Malaysian strikers more difficult.
  However, Razie Rahim made sure when Malaysia won the first penalty corner in the 15th minute with a low push for the lead.
  Egypt never encroached into the Malaysian semi-circle for the remaining quarter as they defended in numbers.
  Fitri Shaari increased the lead in the 26th minute off a penalty corner rebound, and a minute before half-time, seasoned player Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin scored a lovely goal to make it 3-0.
  The other goals were scored by Shahril Saabah (44th) and Aiman Nik Rosemi (49th).
   RESULTS: Semi-finals: Malaysia 5 Egypt 0, China 5 Oman 1.
   Fifth-Eighth -- Sri Lanka 0 Bangladesh 9, Ghana 11 Fiji 2.
   SUNDAY: Final -- Malaysia v China (6pm); Third-Fourth: Oman v Egypt (3.45pm); Fifth-Sixth: Bangladesh v Ghaha (1.30pm); Seventh-Eighth: Fiji v Sri Lanka (11.15pm).
  Note: Malaysian time.

Don't become your own enemy...

Pic: Mas v Fiji

NO team can beat Malaysia in Dhaka, other than themselves.
  This was what Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) Technical Director Terry Walsh said while watching Bangladesh play Egypt in the World League Round Two quarter-finals on Thursday.
  Malaysia, 13th in the World, will play No 20 Egypt in the semi-finals today, and at stake is a ticket to the World League Semifinals either in London or South Africa.
  The second stage offers tickets to the 2018 World Cup in India.
  With the stakes so high, Egypt has also set their sights on beating Malaysia to claim one slot, as only the finalists in Dhaka move into the World League Semifinals.
  "There is no team in Dhaka that can beat Malaysia but themselves. By saying this, I mean Malaysia must play much better than what they have been playing in the last four matches," said Walsh.
  He was busy looking for Egypt's faults, and found plenty in both the goalkeepers.
  "Their No 1 goalkeeper (Wael Noureldin) is weak on his left foot, and that's were the penalty corners should head. Low, and left. And as for their second goalkeeper (Ahmed Adel), if they field him against Malaysia, he is slow to move to the sides on both legs.
  "We have not been scoring off high penalty corners so far, while the low ones have worked. This should be our weapon to win comfortably," said Walsh.
   Walsh has also noted down many other 'defects' in Egypt -- but kept it to himself.
  Malaysian coach Stephen van Huizen said: "We are going to throw everything we have towards Egypt and treat this as the final itself. No use in holding back, as we came here to qualify for the World League Semifinals and are just a step away," said van Huizen.
  One of the better player in Dhaka Nabil Fiqri, believes his team-mates will beat Egypt.
  "No doubts in my mind, we will beat Egypt at all cost and move into the final. I will give my best, and push the rest as well," said the recently graduated trainee Inspector who is now attached to Bukit Aman.
  However, Egypt have their own dream.
  "We could not arrange for training matches before coming here, but trained hard three times a day for three months. We were unlucky not to have topped the group (Group B) and avoid Malaysia in the semi-finals, but now that we are paired with them, we aim to beat them," said Egypt skipper Amr Elhady.
  Hopefully, Malaysia don't become their own enemy today.

SATURDAY: Semi-finals: Malaysia v Egypt (3.45pm), China v Oman (6pm).
  Placing matches: Fifth-Eighth -- Sri Lanka v Bangladesh (11.15am), Ghana v Fiji (1.30pm).
  Note: Malaysian time.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Thursday, March 9, 2017

RED card revoked...

MALAYSIA were placed in a tight corner in the first quarter by World No 41 Sri Lanka before they won 5-2 to qualify for the semifinals of the World League Round Two in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Thursday.
  Now, coach Stephen van Huizen's men must win in the semi-final on Saturday to claim a ticket to the World League Semifinals either in South Africa or London.
  Only the top-two teams in Dhaka will make the trip to either London or South Africa for a shot at the 2018 World Cup in India.
  Rosli Ramadan scored a ninth minute field goal, but Sri Lanka equalised in the 15th minute off K. Nalantha.
  But World No 13 Malaysia were in no mood to lose, and went on to score off Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (18th), Rosli Ramadan (22nd), Aiman Nik Rozemi (23rd), Rashid Baharom (29th)
  The other Sri Lanka goal was scored by D. Ishanka in the 27th minute.
  There seemed to be an ugly incident in the game when Sri Lanka player Samida de Costha was flashed the red card for hitting Joel van Huizen on the head in what appeared to be an off the ball incident in the third quarter.
  However, after the Technical Officials viewed a video of the incident, they saw Joel falling down on his own and de Costha was not involved in the incident.
  The red card was revoked, and De Costha can play in the next match. 
   SATURDAY: Semi-finals: Malaysia v Egypt (3.45pm), China v Oman (6pm).
  Note: Malaysian time.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Malaysia 11 Fiji 1

MALAYSIA pulverised Fiji 11-1 to complete their Group A fixtures Tuesday to top the group in the World League Round Two hockey match in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  There was never a moment of doubt, as Shahril Saabah scored a first minute field goal and went on to nail three more in the 12th, 23rd and 59th minutes.
  The other goals were scored by Rashid Baharom (third, 22nd), Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (10th), Fitri Shaari (11th, 55th, 58th) and Razie Rahim (17th).
  Fiji scored their consolation off Jerome Edwards in the 29th minute.
  Malaysia, ranked 13th in the World, played simple hockey with close passes to hammer the part-time hockey players ranked 51st in the world.
  The quarter-finals will be held on Thursday, and Malaysia play against Sri Lanka where another win is assured.
  Malaysia are the raging favourites to not only play in the final but also to win the gold medal.
 The finalists will move on to the World League Semifinals either in London or South Africa which is a qualifier for the 2018 World Cup in India.
  RESULTS: Group A: Malaysia 11 Fiji 1, Bangladesh 2 Oman 3; Group B: Ghana 1 Egypt 1 (Egypt win shoot-out 4-2), China 5 Sri Lanka 1.
  THURSDAY -- Quarterfinals: Malaysia v Sri Lanka, China v Fiji, Oman v Ghana, Egypt v Bangladesh.


FINAL STANDINGS

GROUP A

            P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
MALAYSIA    3  3  0  0  20 2  9
OMAN        3  2  0  1  11 8  6
BANGLADESH  3  1  0  2  7  7  3
FIJI        3  0  0  3  2  23 0

GROUP B 
            P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
CHINA       3  2  1  0  14 6  7
EGYPT       3  1  2  0  9  5  7
GHANA       3  1  1  1  9  12 4

SRI LANKA   3  0  0  3  7  16 0




Monday, March 6, 2017

HOCKEY WORLD LEAGUE: MALAYSIA TOYS WITH OMAN


Oman Hockey Association president Talib al Wahaibi (right) speaks to the national team players after a practice session following the team’s loss to Malaysia in Dhaka on Sunday

NOTE: Its a file picture as Dhaka has a blue pitch and no pines surrounding it....
Oman was given a stinging lesson by a much-superior Malaysian side as K K Poonacha's men suffered a 1-6 tennis-score-like drubbing in the Hockey World League (HWL) Round 2 at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Sunday. 
It was a reality check for Oman, which had begun its campaign with a dominating 7-0 victory over minnow Fiji in a Pool A game on Saturday.
For Malaysia, the pre-tournament favourite and the top-ranked side, it was an expected win despite missing several key players.
Ranked 13th in the world, Malaysia was off the blocks in the 11th minute when Shahril Saabah scored a field goal. Oman then held fort for the next 15 minutes before Malaysian star Razie Rahim converted a penalty corner to make it 2-0.
Another penalty corner in the 33rd minute found Tengku Ahmad blast past Oman goalkeeper Fahad al Nofli, making it 3-0.
Oman, ranked 31st in the world, raised hopes of a fightback when Mohammed al Lawati scored a field goal off a counter offensive in the 37th minute.
But Malaysia's domination was restored as Aiman Nik Rosemi made it 4-1 in the 42nd minute and Ahmad scored his second goal in the 48th minute to make it 5-1.
Aiman completed the rout seven minutes from the final whistle with his second strike to establish his team's credentials as the title favourite.
Speaking over phone from Dhaka, Oman's head coach Poonacha put up a brave stance. “Malaysia is the 13th-ranked side in the world, while we are ranked 31st. We played good hockey, but there are some areas where we need to improve. Our players did well in the opening two quarters. But after that, Malaysia played well.
“Malaysia is the top team in the competition. We have to get over the loss and focus on our next game against Bangladesh on Tuesday.”
Bangladesh was a 5-1 winner against Fiji in another Pool A match on Sunday, making the upcoming contest between Oman and Bangladesh crucial to finish second in the group.
Poonacha said that match against the hosts is 'between equal teams', adding, “It will all depend on who plays the best on Tuesday, but I am confident of my boys' victory.”
Incidentally, Bangladesh is coached by former Oman coach, Oliver Kurtz of Germany.
Poonacha took over the Oman reigns from the German. In other matches played on Sunday, China fell 2-3 in a penalty shootout against Egypt in a Pool B game after both teams were tied 2-2 in regulation-time; and Ghana defeated Sri Lanka 5-4 in another Pool B contest.
A total of eight teams from three continents, including Asia, Africa and Oceania - split into Pools A and B - are taking part in the nine-day competition.
On Tuesday, the final day of the group-stage matches, Malaysia takes on Fiji, China meets Sri Lanka and Ghana faces Egypt.
The top two teams will qualify for the HWL semifinals, which will be held in London, UK in June and Johannesburg, South Africa in July. The HWL Round 2 is the qualifying tournament for the 2018 World Cup, which will be played in New Delhi, India.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Slow but convincing win...



IT WAS a slow start, but Malaysia picked up after the second half to beat Oman 6-1 in the World League Round Two hockey match in Dhaka, Bangladesh, yesterday.
  Again, a lower ranked team managed to hold Malaysia to a 1-0 lead in the first quarter, as only Shahril Saabah was on target in the 11th minute off a close tap-in.
  Oman are ranked 31st in the World while Malaysia 13th. It was the same script against World No 32 Bangladesh where Malaysia could only win 3-0 on Saturday.
  At the half-time break, Malaysia held a slim 2-0 lead, after Razie Rahim finally scored off his fifth penalty corner attempt in the 26th minute. 
 Tengku Ahamd Tajuddin scored the third in the 33rd minute, off a penalty corner set-piece while the other goals were scored by Aiman Nik Rosemi (42nd, 53rd) and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (48th).
  Oman got their consolation off Muhammad Al-Lawati 37th minute.
    In an earlier match, No 18 ranked China were beaten in sudden-death shoot-out by No 20 ranked Egypt.
  The match ended 2-2, and the five-man shoot-out also saw a 2-2 deadlock before Egypt won in sudden-death.
  Egypt received two points for their effort, while China one point.

STANDINGS

GROUP A

            P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
MALAYSIA    2  2  0  0  9  1  6
OMAN        2  1  0  1  8  6  3
BANGLADESH  2  1  0  1  5 4  3
FIJI        2  0  0  2  1  12  0


GROUP B 
            P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
EGYPT       2  1  1  0  8  4  5
CHINA       2  1  1  0  9  5  4
GHANA       2  1  0  1  8  11 3
SRI LANKA   2  0  0  2  6  11 0

Note: There is a shoot-out in the event of a draw, and the winning team gets two points.

  RESULTS: Group A: Oman 1 Malaysia 6, Bangladesh 5 Fiji 1; Group B: Ghana 5 Sri Lanka 4, Egypt 2 China 2 (Egypt and China draw 2-2 in shoot-out, Egypt win sudden-death).
  MONDAY: REST DAY
  TUESDAY: Group A -- Malaysia v Fiji (11am), Bangladesh v Oman (6pm); Group B: China v Sri Lanka (1.30pm), Ghana v Egypt (3.45pm).
  Note: Malaysian time. 

Free daily news on the wall...



WHILE newspapers around the world are facing tough times to attract new and young readers to their print version and are going on-line, Bangladesh has a third option.
  Newspapers are pasted on the wall in selected areas all over Dhaka daily, and the public can stand and read it for free.
  This is the wall-on-line version that has been around here for at least two decades.
  In this way, not only news and appointments and other stuff is circulated, but advertisers also get their moneys worth on people who either do not have the money to buy papres from the stands.
  Every day, at least 20 English and Bengali language newspapers are pasted on selected walls around Greater Dhaka, which has a population of 18 million, with 8.5 million in the city centre itself.
  The A grade newspapers still have a circulation of 100,000 to 500,000 while the B grade sell around 50,000.
  And there are 10 English and at least 50 Bengali newspapers who are still selling strong.
  Newspapers published in Bangladesh are written in Bengali or English versions. Most Bangladeshi daily newspapers are usually printed in broadsheets while few daily tabloids exist.
  All daily newspapers are morning editions and there are no evening papers in Bangladesh, and only a few offer online versions.
  Stories of the day share walls of bustling sidewalks crammed with fruits, clothes, fried stuff, freshly squeezed juices and a host of chai-wallas.
  While 'shopping' at the sidewalks and drinking chai on push-carts, people stop and read newspapers on the wall.
  And wall circulations can run to the millions everyday.

Cheers! to Datuk Rokk...

This scribe was fortunate to have worked and learnt the ropes from a master journalist. Solid as a Rokk..
PEKAN: Former New Straits Times (NST) sports editor Lazarus Rokk described the Darjah Indera Mahkota Pahang (DIMP) bestowed on him as an appreciation by Sultan of Pahang, Sultan Ahmad Shah and the Regent of Pahang, Tengku Abdullah for those involved in sports.
  Rokk, now a ‘Datuk’, was among 77 DIMP recipients to receive their awards from Tengku Abdullah at an investiture ceremony at Istana Abu Bakar here today.
  Also present at the ceremony was Tengku Puan Pahang Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah and 215 award recipients held in conjunction with the sultan’s birthday.
  Rokk said the award was the highest he had ever received after spending 31 years in the media. Apart from NST, he had also served in The Star and Malay Mail.
  “Sports is a subject close to the hearts of the Sultan and the Tengku Mahkota (Tengku Abdullah). Both of them deeply appreciated those involved in sports...not only athletes and sports officers, as even sports writers were also recognised.
  “The award recognises my career efforts even though I knew Tengku Abdullah when I was still a journalist and he was active in football,” he told reporters when met here today.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Just a win, nothing fancy...

IT WAS a jittery 60 minutes for Malaysia but they went on to beat Bangladesh 3-0 in the curtain raiser of the World League Round Two hockey tournament in Dhaka, Bangladesh Saturday.
  Only the finalists will move on to the World League Semifinals, and Malaysia face Oman on Sunday where a win is also expected.
  Ranked 13th in the World, Malaysia started the count when Marhan Jalil slapped in from close range in the fifth minute.
  But the first quarter ended without anymore goals, as Malaysia bungled a penalty corner and also three sitters.
  Razie Rahim scored off Malaysia's second penalty corner in the 19th minute, and Aiman Nik Rosemi made it 3-0 in the 54th minute for full points.


STANDINGS

GROUP A

            P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
OMAN        1  1  0  0  7  0  3
MALAYSIA    1  1  0  0  3  0  3
BANGLADESH  1  0  0  1  0  3  0
FIJI        1  0  0  1  0  7  0



GROUP B 
            P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
CHINA       1  1  0  0  7  3  3
EGYPT       1  1  0  0  6  2  3
SRI LANKA   1  0  0  1  2  6  0
GHANA       1  0  0  1  3  7  0



  RESULTS: Group A -- Oman 7 Fiji 0, Malaysia 3 Bangladesh 0; Group B: China 7 Ghana 3, Egypt 6 Sri Lanka 2.
  SUNDAY: Group A: Oman v Malaysia (3.45pm), Bangladesh v Fiji (6pm); Group B: Ghana v Sri Lanka (11am), Egypt v China (1.30pm).
  MONDAY: REST DAY
  TUESDAY: Group A -- Malaysia v Fiji (11am), Bangladesh v Oman (6pm); Group B: China v Sri Lanka (1.30pm), Ghana v Egypt (3.45pm).
  Note: Malaysian time. 

Looking for a blistering start in Dhaka...


TRAINING ... Malaysia having a feel of the field in Dhaka Friday.

NO 1 ranked Malaysia have no one to fear but themselves when they start their World League Round Two campaign against hosts Bangladesh in Dhaka Saturday.
  Even though the best players are not available for the pre-World Cup qualifier due to weddings, injuries and family commitments coach Stephen van Huizen's men pack enough power to beat every team assembled here.
  Malaysia are ranked 13th, while their Group A opponents Bangladesh (32nd), Oman (31st) and Fiji (not ranked) are way below.
  Group B is no better as China are 18th while Ghana, Egypt and Sri Lanka are not ranked among the world's 35 hockey playing nations.
  The national players had a sparring session with China and won 2-1 in two 15-minute halves, and they did not even hit 50 percent of their capabilities.
  Bangladesh had a worse outing as in their three friendlies against Ghana, they lost 2-0 drew 2-2 and won 2-1.
  "Training matches do not say anything about the strength of teams, its just for warm-up and teams do not push themselves. We have nothing to fear, even without some of our better players as our target here is to play in the final first to qualify for the World League semifinals and the second target is to win gold," said van Huizen.
  Both the targets should be easy to reach, if the players believe in themselves like they did in the last World League Round Two in Singapore where they hammered Poland 8-0 for the gold.
  Team manager Nasihin Nubli gave an 80 per cent thumbs up to the newly laid blue artificial pith at the 1971 built stadium.
  "Its well laid, but for certain parts where it is difficult for players to dribble as they can't drag the ball left to right to beat an opponent as its very coarse.
  "It (the pitch) also dries very fast as its very winds and humidity is high. But every team will experience the same and it should pose no problems in our campaign," said Nasihin.
  One of the most senior players in the team Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, debut in the 2005 Rotterdam Junior World Cup, said even though many players were not available for Dhaka, the replacements are equally good.
  "I would say that those who replaced players who could not make it here are no rookies, as they have played at many internationals before. The only problem i noticed when we played the China friendly was that the team had yet to get their act together.
  "This is because we were all playing or our clubs (in the Malaysia Hockey League) and arrived here two days after the final. We might start slow against Bangladesh, but I am confdent we will win," said Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin who scored a total of 13 goals in the MHL and was also pivotal in helping Terengganu Hockey Team win the TNB Cup.
  The confidence is also there as Malaysia only have 17 players in Dhaka now, and Faiz Helmi will arrive on March 5, to play against Fiji and hen the knock-out -- as he is getting married first.
  FIXTURES -- SATURDAY: Group A -- Oman v Fiji (3.45pm), Malaysia v Bangladesh (6pm); Group B: China v Ghana (11am), Egypt v Sri Lanka (1.30pm).
  SUNDAY: Group A: Oman v Malaysia (3.45pm), Bangladesh v Fiji (6pm); Group B: Ghana v Sri Lanka (11am), Egypt v China (1.30pm).
  MONDAY: REST DAY
  TUESDAY: Group A -- Malaysia v Fiji (11am), Bangladesh v Oman (6pm); Group B: China v Sri Lanka (1.30pm), Ghana v Egypt (3.45pm).
  Note: Malaysian time.