Thursday, March 12, 2009

India 3 Malaysia 1

Results: Pakistan 8 Singapore 0; India 3 Pakistan 1.

THE National Juniors hardly pressed forward but their tactics to defend were still not good enough to stop India from winning 3-1 in their opening match of the Four-Nation Invitational Tournament at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru yesterday.

Despite the defeat, the Malaysians can stand proud of their performance in the match.
They played well as a unit, unlike previously, but fell behind due to their inexperience in handling the skillful and speedy Indians.
In the first half, the Malaysian lads foiled six penalty corner attempts in the with goalkeeper Abdul Hakim Adnan at his element.
But a defensive mix-up from the Malaysians allowed India to take a lead through Victo Singh in the 35th minute.
Izwan Firdaus Tajuddin turned on the heat with a splendid penalty corner set-piece attempt to equalise for Malaysia in the 44th minute
Three minutes later, Diwakar Ram regained India’s lead with a penalty corner goal.
India scored their third through Karan Jay’s field attempt in the 50th minute.
Malaysia coach K.Rajan said his charges were letdown by defensive errors.
“My boys stood their ground in the first half but India’s relentless attacks broke their momentum. I need to do some work on the defence,” said Rajan yesterday.
“Overall, I’m happy with my charges and they will need to e cautions against Pakistan tomorrow (today).”
Earlier, Abdul Haseem Khan scored four goals as Pakistan romped to a 8-0 demolition of Singapore.
Abdul Haseen scored in the fourth, 26th, 34th and 66th minutes.
Inayat Ullah (eight), Adeel Hussain Syed (23rd), Muhd Toufeeq (61st) and Muhd Umar Bhutta (66th) scored the other Pakistan goals.

P W D L G A Pts

Pakistan 1 1 0 0 8 0 3
India 1 1 0 0 3 1 3
Malaysia 1 0 0 1 1 3 0
Singapore 1 0 0 1 0 8 0

Big test for Rajan's boys

THE National Juniors will face their sternest test yet prior to the Junior World Cup (June 7-21) in the Four-Nation Invitational Tournament at the brand new Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru which starts today.
The other teams in the fray are former world junior champions India, Pakistan and Singapore.
The tournament will provide quality matches but a good result is important to boost the players’ self confidence.
The national team have so much to prove here in the build up towards the Junior World Cup, co-hosted by Johor Baru and Singapore, after several unconvincing results in previous tournaments and friendly matches.
Coach K. Rajan has a difficult task on his hands to transform his players into a winning unit.
Time is certainly not on their side and already touted as one of the worst assembled squads for a Junior World Cup, Rajan will need to find a solution fast in the Four-Nation to turn the team around.
Rajan certainly has the ability to make things happen and his past successes with Tenaga Nasional in the Malaysian Hockey League, says it all about his creditability as an excellent coach.
He picked his best-18 players for the Four-Nation and they will open their account against India today.
The surprise inclusion is forward Izwan Firdaus Ahmad Tajuddin, who only joined the national junior training squad about six month ago.
Rajan said Izwan is a natural goal-scorer and will be a player to watch in the Four-Nation.
"He is fast and excellent with his dribbling skills. I am banking on him to deliver the goals,” said Rajan in Johor Baru yesterday.
Izwan made his debut in the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney in January and scored two goals in four matches.
The other forwards in the squad are Ahmad Termidzi Ismail, Mohd Azammi Adabi, Faizal Saari and Mohd Jamil Saidin.
On the opening match against India, Rajan said his team can expect a strong challenge from their skillful opponents.
"We also have to wary of their penalty corner specialist Diwakar (Ram), who is good with his drag flicks,’’ he added.

MALAYSIA: Goalkeepers: Abdul Hakim Adnan, Mohd Asmawi Zaidi;
Defenders: Khairil Anuar Mohd Isa, Mohd Sybrie Sham suddin, Mohd Nor Hafiq Abdul Gaffar, Wong Kee Hoon, G. Kavin Kartik;
Midfielders: Mohd Marhan Mohd Jalil, Azreen Rizal Nasir, Mohd Shafiq Mohd Zain, Mohd Izzat Mohd Rahim, Harvinder Singh, R. Nadesh;
Forwards: Faizal Saari, Mohd Azammi Adabi, Mohd Jamil Saidin, Izwan Firdaus Ahmad Tajuddin, Ahmad Termidzi Ismail.

Bandar Penawar rue their draw

BANDAR Penawar Sports School (BPSS) are still ruing their 1-1 draw in the curtain raiser of Malaysia Hockey League, which has placed them in a tight spot in their Division Two title challenge.
BPSS drew 1-1 with Malacca, but lead the standings by default because hot favourites Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) have a rain-interrupted match against Anderson in hand.
But the southern Sports School has shown some mettle in Division One, as they came back from two goals down before beating a stubborn Old La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak).
BPSS coach Wan Roslan Wan Rahman said it is too early to celebrate their position, as they still have many tough matches to complete.
“We know the score, and are sitting at the top because BJSS have played one less match.
“However, I feel we have a strong team this year, as we have included seven payers who are waiting for their SPM results, and they have managed to give the team a good shape,” said Wan Roslan.
Year-in-and-year-out, BPSS have been forced to use only Form Four boys, while their seniors ply their trade with other clubs.
“But this year, six Form Five boys and one pre-university student decided that they want to represent the school and not other clubs, and I am thankful to them.
“With the experienced seven in the fold, the others are also playing with confidence now, and our results show a marked improvement.
“The opening match against Malacca (1-1 draw) is a hiccup, and we hope to continue our winning ways in the remaining matches,” said Wan Roslan.
And their most crucial match will be against BJSS, at the tail end of the League.
“We play BJSS in our second last match, and if we can keep up our momentum, it might just be the title decider.”