Sunday, September 16, 2007

SS Juniors hold Malacca


MALACCA Municipal Council (MMC) finally found their match in Division Two
when they were held 2-2 by Sports School Juniors in the MHF-Milo-Admiral-
NSC Junior Hockey League match at the Bukit Serindit Stadium yesterday.
Malacca MC will now have to wait for their last match against Perak
Malays on April 13 to decide the Division Two title which comes with
Yesterday the Malacca MC boys, who have scored a total of 72 goals in 10
matches, put too much pressure on themselves and let in an early goal.
Hairul Ibrahim sounded the board off the first penalty corner in the
second minute and Malacca MC found themselves in unfamiliar territory as
no team has scored first against them in the last nine matches.
But Malacca MC got the equaliser four minutes later off an Ahmad Anuar
Sham field goal. Malacca MC went ahead in the 46th minute when Ahmad
scored his second goal but the SS Juniors refused to be broken and
snatched a draw with a Jamil Saidin field goal in the 56th minute.
SS Juniors could have sealed the Division Two title with a win, but they
missed five penalty corners and, at best, now they will finish second as
Malacca MC have easy pickings in their last match.
* At the Kuala Terengganu Stadium, Terengganu Schools Sports Council
edged closer to their target of playing in the quarter-finals when they
beat MPK-Old La Sallians Association of Klang 3-2, reports ZAINUDDIN
The home side looked set to cruise into their fourth win after leading
by two goals scored by Saiful Amri Idris (10th) and Amerullah Sabda (17th)
but OLAK almost turned the tide after the break when S. Lingkeswaran
scored in the 48th minute.
And three minutes later, Lingkeswaran took advantage of a goalmouth
scramble to flick in the equaliser.
Terengganu SSC were lucky to score the winning goal in the 54th minute
through Saiful Amri Idris.
* At The Azlan Shah Stadium, Malay Mail beat Perak Malays 4-1 with
second half goals from Tejvinder Singh (48th), K. Kunaseelan (50th), M.
Shriganenthra (5th) and S. Mahendran (70th). The Perak Malays goal was
scored by Chin Kok San in the 38th minute.
In a later match, Synergy HC edged Kerian 3-2, with goals from Jeremiah
Michael(9th), Harwinder Singh (42nd), and Mohamed Izwandi Sanirang (62nd).
Mohamed Faiz Musa got both the goals for Kerian, scoring in the 18th and
* At the Bertam Stadium, Penang Frees beat Kuala Lumpur Schools Sports
Council 4-1. The Frees goals were scored by Barath Kumar (third, 8th),
Mohamed Jabir (48th) and Fahmi Nasir (70th). The KLSSC goal was scored by
Ahmad Faizul Azar (57th).

Tenaga edge Anderson


TENAGA Nasional Bhd edged Anderson-Xybase 2-1 in a fiercely-contested
Division One match of the MHF-Milo-Admiral-NSC Junior Hockey League at the
Kuala Lumpur HA Stadium yesterday.
With the win, Tenaga kept their hopes alive of emerging top in Division
One. In the other deciding match, Telekom Pahang were leading 1-0 against
Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (PJMC) when lightning and rain interrupted
play in the 22nd minute.
Match officials abandoned any further play after waiting for the
stipulated 45 minutes. The match will now start afresh at the Kuantan
Hockey Stadium on Wednesday as yesterday's tie had not completed the 35-
minute barrier.
In Division Two, Sports School Juniors suffered a slight setback when
they were held 2-2 by the Perlis Schools Sports Council. With the draw, SS
Juniors will have to beat Malacca Municipal Council today if they harbour
any hope of finishing on top.
The Tenaga goals were scored by Azli Misron (seventh) and Eszreen Abdulk
Azis (14th). Anderson narrowed the gap through a well executed penalty
corner set-piece which was deflected into goal by Noor Khairul Azrain in
the 24th minute.
Heavy rain forced the match to be stopped for 20 minutes, and upon
resumption, Anderson took control, but their forwards were guilty of
missing too many sitters and subsequently lost the match.
Tenaga coach K. Rajan was relieved with the three points, and now plans
to send in a special request to the Malaysian Hockey Federation.
"I will write to the MHF requesting to bring forward the Malaysia Sports
School (SSM)-Johor Sports Council (JSC) match to April 12, instead of
April 20. This is because both SSM and JSC have very good ties with each
other and could decide the Division One title by going for goals in the
last match," said Rajan.
JSC is the Bandar Penawar Sports School in disguise and Rajan is afraid
if the Division One title depends on goals, Tenaga will be at a
Telekom Pahang are also believed to be against the SSM-JSC match being
held on the last weekend of the JHL, and will put in a request to the MHF.
Results - Div One: PJMC MC v Telekom Pahang (Match abandoned, rain);
Tenaga Nasional 2 Anderson-Xybase 1; Johor SC 0 Yayasan NS 0; Div Two:
English College 2 AFATS 1; SS Juniors 2 Perlis SSC 2.
Fixtures - Today - Div Two: Perak Malays v Malay Mail (Azlan Shah
Stadium, 4pm), Penang Frees v MSSKL (Bertam Stadium, 5.15pm), Malacca MC v
Sports School Juniors (Bukit Serindit Stadium, 5.15pm), Kerian v Synergy
HC (Azlan Shah Stadium, 6pm).
Div One: Terengganu v MPK-OLAK (Kuala Terengganu Stadium, 5.15pm).

Economic progress spoiling our athletes


MALAYSIAN athletes of today have everything at their doorstep but despite
that, their performances at international meetings are still incomparable
to the achievements of athletes of yesteryear. Why?
This question was posed by The New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad Group
Editor-In-Chief Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad at a nasi bungkus dialogue session
with the top brass of the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), president
Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja'afar, deputy president Datuk M. Jegathesan
and secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi at Balai Berita yesterday.
Abdullah who chaired the session was perplexed as to why "when the
athletes were poor and received less incentives, they had achieved a lot
more than the athletes of today who are enjoying better rewards and higher
"When (Datuk) Ghani Minhat and Wong Peng Soon were at their prime, they
received little monetary rewards but are still remembered for their
achievements while the athletes of today have everything but are still
lagging," stated Abdullah.
Replying to Abdullah, Dr. Jegathesan said the advancement of technology
played a big part in this.
"When I was running, there was little to do as we did not even have
television sets. We had all the time in the world to train hard without
any distractions. Life was very simple," said Dr. Jegathesan.
"But today, the youngsters have shopping malls, computers, satellite
television and other forms of entertainment which takes up most of their
spare time."
He also felt that the schools have neglected sports, and sports rivalry
among schools and States is almost non-existent.
"Back in my days, every child will be out playing one sport or another
in the evenings. Parents found it almost impossible to stop them from
running out of homes for sport in the evenings. Every available patch in
housing estates were turned into a sporting arena.
"And when in school, it was compulsory to take part in sports, and those
who were not good at it, were simply asked to run around the field.
"But today, schools no longer put emphasis on sports. It has shifted to
education because every parent wants their children to secure a
professional future," said Dr. Jegathesan.
He also felt that teachers and headmasters are no longer motivated
enough to make sure sports thrive at grassroots.
"Headmasters used to be the driving force in schools sports success. But
today, when one drives around during the weekend, school fields are
deserted as no activities are planned for students to excel in sports.
"That is why I feel that even though athletes receive more money and
attention with very good facilities around, the distractions are just too
great," concluded Dr. Jegathesan.

'Pahang Telekom can only finish second at best'


OVERALL defending champions Pahang Telekom have resigned themselves to the
fact that, at best, they can only finish second in Division One when the
MHF-Milo-Admiral-NSC Junior Hockey League pool matches end on April 20.
Pahang coach Izwan Suhardi arrived at this conclusion because they have
three tough matches lined up and his penalty corner flicker, Zulkiffli
Rejab, injured his knee while playing in the Kilat Sixes during the JHL
"Zulkiffli scored an average of one goal per match (seven goals in six
matches) and his injury is a big blow to the team as we have tough
opponents in Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (tomorrow), Anderson-Xybase
and Yayasan Negri Sembilan," said Izwan yesterday.
The other Division One title contenders, Tenaga Nasional and Malaysia
Sports School, have easier opponents in their last three matches.
Finishing runners-up in Division One is dreaded by every team because
the draw for the quarter-finals is arranged in such a way the second-
placed team in Division One will play the top team in Division Two - most
likely to be high-flying Malacca Municipal Council.
"The boys are motivated enough to go all out for the top spot because we
want to defend our Overall title. But it is going to be very tough. I have
not seen PJMC play a single match and do not know what they are capable
of. Also, we will be playing the last three matches away and it is always
difficult when one travels," said Izwan.
"The other problem for Pahang is that rain has disrupted most of our
evening practices during the break. We could only do light workouts in the
mornings. As a result, although the fitness level has improved, we could
not sharpen our set-pieces," Izwan added.
Pahang Telekom charged to the top in their JHL debut last year, winning
the Group A title and then the Overall title by beating Malaysia Sports
School but they are a depleted side this year because four of their
players received national call-ups and were barred from the JHL this

SS Juniors lose star Nabil


SPORTS School Juniors lost their trump-card Nabil Fiqri to injury on the
eve of two crucial MHF-Milo-Admiral-NSC Junior Hockey League matches this
weekend which will decide the Division Two champions.
The title comes with a purse of RM10,000, so SS Juniors coach V.
Muraleedharan is naturally anxious and is keeping his fingers crossed that
his ace striker will recover from a sprained ankle in time.
Malacca and SS Juniors have virtually qualified to play in Division One
next year as it is very unlikely that both teams will lose their remaining
three matches and allow SMK Datuk Taha, who have 17 points from eight
matches, to overtake them.
"Nabil is our best striker and it would be a very difficult weekend for
us if he does not recover in time to play against Perlis and Malacca.
"He picked up the ankle injury during a training match and right now, he
is a doubtful starter against Perlis on Saturday and Malacca on Sunday,"
said Muraleedharan.
SS Juniors and Malacca MC shared top spot with 24 points each when the
JHL took a short break for the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh. But Malacca MC have
a better goal average, and only need a draw to win the Division Two title.
Nabil, 16, played in the January Four-Nation tournament in Kuala Lumpur
and also the Bangladesh Four-Nation meet which involved India, Bangladesh
and Sri Lanka.
"The Bangladesh tournament, although we ended third and could only beat
Sri Lanka, was an eye opener for the Under-16 SS Juniors and hopefully,
they will use the experience to win both matches this weekend," said
But all is not lost as SS Juniors have Baljit Singh to get the goals if
Nabil is out of action.
Baljit has scored 13 penalty corner goals in eight matches, and is
gaining confidence with every match. He has a powerful hit and a sharp eye
to pick up the slightest gap when taking penalty corners to score.
"Baljit has been doing very well in training and we will be looking to
him for the goals this weekend.
"First, we will have to deal with Perlis at the Tun Razak Stadium
because the northern State has exceeded expectations in the JHL. The three
points will be a big boost when we play Malacca on their turf," said
Perlis have won five matches and are fourth in the standings. Although
they do not have a chance for promotion or play in the quarter-finals,
they could well play the spoiler's role.

Depleted BSN unfazed


BANK Simpanan Nasional created history when they won the Malaysia Hockey
League (MHL) title for an unprecedented third time last season, but this
year, they will be fielding a severely depleted squad.
Pakistan aces Sohail Abbas and Kashif Jawad, and four Malaysian
stalwarts - Roslan Jamaludin, Amin Rahim, P. Prabahkaran and Lee Sien Lam
- have opted to play for other teams this year.
But BSN veteran coach C. Paramalingam is not worried. Instead, he feels
this will be his chance to expose young players from the end of May till
"Sohail and Kashif said they are committed to their national team who
will be playing in the Champions Challenge and Asia Cup this year. I have
also lost a few experienced players but I am not worried because I will
use this chance to expose young players," said Paramalingam.
The hat-trick, unprecedented since the inception of the MHL, was
achieved when they defeated Andersen Sports Club 1-0 in a closely fought
final at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
Then, they had to thank their goalkeeper Roslan who played like a man
possessed, repelling everything that Andersen Indian imports Len Aiyappa
and Dhanaraj Pilay could muster.
Sohail, who played a major part in taking BSN to the final, scored the
solitary goal off BSN's sixth penalty corner.
"I have been talking with up-and-coming players Megat Azrafiq, Ismail
Abu and a goalkeeper (he did not reveal the name) to fill the vacuum left
by the exodus. I am confident BSN will be able to put up a good display
this year too, because I will hire young players who are eager to make a
name for themselves, and both BSN and hockey will win in the end," said
BSN have not given up on foreign players and are still in the hunt for
two to beef up their squad.
"I tried to get Jorge Lombi (the Argentine penalty corner specialist)
but he too had domestic commitments. But the hunt is not over yet, we are
still looking for two strong imports," said Paramalingam.
Dhanraj and Aiyappa are also not expected to be down for the MHL,
because they are said to be committed to their domestic training and

Another title for Karamjit


BERJAYA Sports Toto Berhad Chairman Tan Sri Vincent Tan yesterday paid
tribute to rally ace Karamjit Singh for winning the World Championship
title and being named Timesport-Sports Toto Man of The Year for 2002.
"The award goes well beyond winning cash prizes, it is about the
celebration of all that is good and honorable in sports," said Tan in
Bukit Kiara yesterday.
"Malaysians must preserve to be an exception, that breed which
ultimately, will strive to position Malaysian sport prominently in the
world map. And at Sports Toto, we will continue to provide all the support
and encouragement possible to make this a reality," he added.
Tan also paid tribute to past winners of this prestigious award.
"Past recipients of this award include the who's who of Malaysian sport
and included the likes of former Kuala Lumpur Mayor Tan Sri Elyas Omar,
two Sports Ministers - Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Datuk Ghani Othman -
Olympic Council of Malaysia president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja'afar
and many more.
"The idea for the award was mooted 15 years ago and since then, the
partnership between the two parties (Timesport and Sports Toto) has grown
from strength to strength and more importantly, we look at the award as a
motivating factor to inculcate in athletes, officials, sports bodies and
corporations the values of leadership, boldness, creativity, discipline
and diligence.
"To be successful, one has to have a vision and the energy and
discipline to overcome the challenges. And this is what Sports Toto,
through the award, would like to honour," said Tan.

Malacca MC out to clinch Division Two title


THE MHF-Milo-Admiral-NSC Junior Hockey League resumes this weekend with
Division Two table-toppers Malacca Municipal Council (MMC) having an easy
match against Kerian in Ipoh.
Kerian are not expected to give MMC any problems, in fact, they could be
in for a thrashing. But come Sunday, MMC will not have it easy against
Sports School Juniors.
One week before the JHL break, the SS Juniors went to Bangladesh to play
in a Four-Nation tournament where they were whipped by India and
Bangladesh, but nevertheless, returned with valuable experience.
"This Sunday, we will be on a double mission. First, we will be putting
up banners promoting peace and not war around the Bukit Serindit Stadium,
and second, we aim to beat Sports School Juniors and claim the Division
Two title," said Malacca MC coach Eugene Lee.
Malacca MC and SS Juniors with 24 points each - are the only two teams
in the running for promotion. Third placed SM Datuk Taha are a distant 17
points behind.
The title race in Division One was thrown wide open when Pahang Telekom
and Tenaga Nasional drew 1-1 before the break. Now, four teams - Tenaga,
Pahang, Malaysia Sports School and Anderson-Xybase - are tied on 13 points
each after six matches.
"I gave the boys a one-week break and they only resumed training a few
days ago but everyone is in great shape. I still stand by my target of
being the Division Two champions and then taking a crack at the Overall
title itself," said Eugene.
MMC, the Overall title winners in 2001, did not compete last year
because of cash-related problems and were placed in Division Two. This
year they have enough firepower to achieve their targets.
The former Anderson players recruited by MMC to strengthen their quest,
goalkeeper Nazrul Azim, Faizal Ani, Hanif Hamzah, Faizal Bakar, Nazrin
Naserruddin and Mohamed Nor Othman, have been playing to expectations and MMC are the hot favourites to top Division Two, but they will face stiff
challenges in their quest for the Overall title.
Fixtures - Friday - Div Two: Malay Mail v Penang Frees (Tun Razak
Stadium, 4pm), Kerian v Malacca Municipal Council (Azlan Shah Stadium, 5.15pm), MSS Kuala Lumpur v Datuk Taha (MBJB Stadium, 5.15pm).
Div One: Srii Aroma v Terengganu Schools Sports Council (Bercham
Stadium, 5.15pm), MPK-Olak v Malaysia Sports School (Pandamaran Stadium, 5.15pm).
Saturday - Div Two: English College v AFATS (MBJB Stadium, 3.30pm),
Sports School Juniors v Perlis Schools Sports Council (Tun Razak Stadium, 5.15pm).
Div One: Petaling Jaya MC v Telekom Pahang (National Hockey Stadium, 5.15pm), Tenaga Nasional v Anderson-Xybase (KLHA Stadium, 5.15pm), Johor Sports Council v Yayasan Negri Sembilan (MBJB Stadium, 5.15pm).
Sunday - Div Two: Perak Malays v Malay Mail (Azlan Shah Stadium, 4pm), Penang Frees v MSSKL (Bercham Stadium, 5.15pm), Malacca MC v Sports School Juniors (Bukit Serindit Stadium, 5.15pm), Kerian v Synergy HC (Azlan Shah Stadium, 6pm).
Div One: Terengganu v MPK-OLAK (Kuala Terengganu Stadium, 5.15pm).

Unfit Malaysia a letdown


MALAYSIA had the best players available for the 12th Edition of the Azlan
Shah Cup in Ipoh, but still could not win a single point from four
The Cup was incepted in 1983 for the sole purpose of giving Malaysia
more quality matches to play at their own turf, but the hosts have yet to
feel what it is like to be at the top of the podium.
In 1983, Malaysia lost to India 5-0 in the third-fourth playoff, and the
best achievement after being hosts for 12 times was in 1996 in Ipoh where
Malaysia finished third by beating England 6-5.
This year, more was expected from the team because they ended 2002 by
beating Pakistan to the Asian Games bronze, but nothing went right.
From the onset, when Malaysia lost three straight Test matches to
Pakistan and one Friendly against South Korea, the feeling was that the
boys were not physically fit for the Azlan Shah Cup. Coach Paul Liseek had
said many times that he did not have his full squad for training because
they had work and study commitments, but that's no longer a valid excuse.
Germany came out from winter hibernation and the only hockey they played
was indoors, where they became the men's and women's world champions, but
they only dropped one match - in the final against Pakistan.
Germany had four new faces, South Korea seven, Pakistan four and New
Zealand four, but still all these teams had a better outing then Malaysia
simply because their player were fitter.
The national players are a skillful lot and a little bit of polish can
turn them into gems. The fact that S. Kuhan failed to score a single
penalty corner goal must also be looked into. Have his opponents learnt to
read his game? Or is it that he was slower because he was not physically
Lissek needs to find out fast because the Champions Challenge in July is
the next big exposure before they try to qualify for the 2004 Athens
Olympics. If they play like they did last week Malaysia might not see
action in Athens next year.
On the organisational side, many felt that spending RM450,000 to play
four matches was a bit too much for exposure. The Malaysian Hockey
Federation had to fork out about RM110,000 for every Malaysia defeat. It
looks like the tournament, instead of benefiting the home side, is
becoming increasingly popular because foreign teams always go home in
better shape.
New Zealand coach Kevin Towns was very grateful to the MHF for inviting
them when Australia pulled out because: "This is among the best
invitational tournament in the world today. It's not easy to get a chance
to play against teams like Pakistan and Germany in friendlies, so every
year, we are the first to put up our hands, just in case any team pulls
out and we get a chance to play in this world class tournament," said
Kevin Towns.
The Kiwis were so grateful for the opportunity that they edged south
Korea 3-2 to finish third.
The probability is very high that the 13th edition will be held in Kuala
Lumpur simply because the Azlan Shah Stadium is no longer suitable to host
international class tournaments because the facilities cannot accommodate
the modern requests of the print and broadcast media.
Past Winners - 1983: Champions: Australia, runners-up Pakistan; 1985:
Champions India, runners-up Pakistan; 1987: Champions Germany, runners-up
Pakistan; 1991: Champions India, runners-up Pakistan; 1994: Champions
England, runners-up Pakistan; 1995: Champions India, runners-up Germany;
1996: Champions Korea, runners-up Australia; 1998: Champions Australia,
runners-up Germany; 1999: Champions Pakistan, runners-up South Korea;
2000: Champions Pakistan, runners-up Korea; 2001: Champions Germany,
runners-up South Korea; 2003: Champions Pakistan, runners-up Germany.

Shabbir gives Pakistan third title


Shabbir Hussain 61st
Hayden Shaw 8th Lee Jung-seong 9th, 17th
P. Burrows 44th
Bevan Hari 61st
PAKISTAN upset the formbook when they toppled World and Azlan Shah Cup
defending champions Germany by a solitary goal in Ipoh yesterday.
And when the final horn blew, the Pakistan players went wild celebrating
the triumph with their fans - with goalkeeper Ahmad Alam and Kashif Jawad
dancing wildly on top of their goal imitating what the Germans did after
lifting the World Cup trophy in Kuala Lumpur last year.
Pakistan last won the trophy in 1999 and 20002, and the victory erased
last year's disastrous outing where they failed finish among the top
Pakistan attempted to seize the early goal yesterday but German
goalkeeper Arnold Clemens brought out some superb saves to deny the former
Asian powerhouse.
Pakistan received their first penalty corner in the 14th minute, but
Clemens read Sohail Abbas' flick well and palmed it over the bar. Pakistan
came back charging for their second penalty corner but were denied once
more by the towering Clemens.
After 25 minutes of ferocious attacking, the match slowed down with both
sides reluctant to let in any simple goals.
As the match entered the third quarter, Germany were pinned back in
their own semicircle with the ball whizzing from left to right of their
goalmouth, but Kashif Jawad and his team-mate's fancy stick-work came to
In the 52nd minute, Germany were awarded their third penalty corner but
there were no takers for Philipp Crone's low attempt.
Just as the capacity crowd were being lulled into slumber with the
Germans reluctant come out of their half, Shabbir Hussain brought the roof
Pakistan skipper Nadeem Mohamed crossed from the right and after Clemens
had missed it, Shabbir was left with the easiest task of tapping it into
goal for Pakistan's third Azlan Shah Cup.
Minutes later Kashif Jawad had the golden opportunity to seal the match,
but his shot rebounded off the post.
Meanwhile in the earlier match, New Zealand made full use of their
wildcard entry to finish third when they edged South Korea 3-2.
New Zealand, who received an invitation when Australia declined because
of domestic commitment, drew first blood when Hayden Shaw scored off a
penalty stroke but the Koreans fought back to find the equaliser a minute
later through Lee Jung-seong.
Lee took South Korea to the fore with his second penalty corner goal in
the 17th minute and the score remained until the 44th minute.
In the second half, the Kiwis increased their tempo with Phillip Burrows
tucking in a field goal to even the scores. Bevan Hari scored the winner
in the 61st minute through a penalty corner as the surprise team finished
third in the tournament.
Roll of Honour - Most promising player: Christopher Zeller, 18
Man-of-the-final: Clemens Arnold (German goalkeeper).
Man-of-the-tournament: Sohail Abbas (Pakistan); Fairplay: Pakistan.

Germany odds on for Azlan Shah Cup


ALL but one of the coaches of the competing teams believe that Germany
will lift the Azlan Shah Cup for the third time today.
Only the coach of Pakistan, Germany's opponents in today's final,
believes otherwise.
Kevin Towns and Jeon Jae-hong, coaches of New Zealand and South Korea
respectively, did not mince words when they said Germany have the upper
hand because they utilise every chance they get while Pakistan have not
been very sharp in attack.
"Germany will win because they have very strong team players, while
Pakistan are a little soft," said Jeon, who is a physical fitness freak.
Towns tipped the Germans because "they have a very strong foundation,
while Pakistan miss too many chances before tucking the ball in."
Germany edged Pakistan 3-2 in the 1987 final in Ipoh, and lifted their
second title in 2001 by beating South Korea with a similar score.
In the preliminary round this year, the Germans won 3-2 and, if
anything, the trend suggests a close battle today.
Shahnaz Sheikh is unhappy with the way his team played in the last two
matches, especially the 1-0 win over South Korea.
"If we play like we did today (Friday) we are finished. But I believe
the boys will lift the game and the title on Sunday (today)," said
Pakistan were the 1999 and 2000 champions, with Shahnaz the coach in the
earlier tournament.
Bernhard Peters, Germany's coach, said they expect a hard time from the
swift Kashif Jawad and Nadeem Mohamed but they can be stopped.
"It will be a close match, just like the preliminaries, but I will stick
with my initial target of defending the Cup.
"Although I have four young players in my side, they have shown great
teamwork, and their confidence level has increased with each match," said
Pakistan play entertaining hockey and are the top scorers in the pool
with 13 goals, even though they have missed numerous chances, but they
have also let in six goals - exposing the vulnerability of their defenders
and goalkeeper Ahmad Alam.
Ahmad Alam was only at his best against South Korea refusing to budge
even though the Koreans attacked from every angle. The Koreans forwards on
one occasion shoved him so hard he went tumbling into his goalmouth but
still saved the shot. If he is in similar form in the the final, half of
Pakistan's battle is won.
Germany have the best goalkeeper of the tournament in Arnold Clemens,
who has 196 caps to date. He played in big role in helping Germany lift
the Kuala Lumpur World Cup last year.
Clemens knows how to stop deadly Pakistan drag-flicker Sohail Abbas, as
they have faced each other in numerous tournaments and will again be
Peters' trump card.
Today - New Zealand v South Korea (3.0pm).
Final: Pakistan v Germany (5.30pm).
Note: Entrance is free.