Saturday, May 29, 2010
UNIKL supporters at the KLHA Stadium.
JUNIOR Hockey League newcomers UniKL know what it feels like to finish second best, and that is why their players are not ready for to preform an encore in the Overall title fight at the Tun Razak Stadium today.
UniKL were were leading 1-0, and were 30 seconds from lifting the League title, when Bandar Penawar Sports School Thunderbolt dashed their dream by scoring the equaliser, and snatching the trophy on a better goals average.
Today, both the teams will lock horns again in what is expected to be a thriller finale to the Under-19 league.
“Playing in the semi-finals was an achievement for this new outfit, but my boys rose to the challenge and beat one sports school (Bukit Jalil), and now I expect to face a tougher time against another sports school.
“The route has not been easy, but the reward that awaits us is worth fighting for until the last minute,” said UniKL coach I. Vickneswaran.
Thunderbolt have the first-11 from the 2013 Junior World Cup training squad, as well as national seniors striker Faizal Saari to bank on, while UniKL will rely on the 2013 reserves today.
Thunderbolt coach Wan Roslan Rahman felt that they were lucky in the League, but can’t depend on another hand-out.
“We have some of the best juniors in the country, no doubt about it, but luck also played a great part in our success so far.
“We were lucky to score the equaliser 30 seconds from time for the League title, and then lucky that my players woke up in time to beat PJCC (Petaling Jaya City Council) 5-3 in the semi-finals.
“However, I hope my players have learnt their lessons well, and show their true potential in the first half and not leave matters to the last minute,” said Wan Roslan.
In the bronze playoff, Petaling Jaya City Council were slapped with a huge handicap as four of their players were banned from playing against Bukit Jalil Sports School Juniors.
PJCC goalkeeper Ahmad Syahir will sit out for man handling umpire Rosdi Pilus in the semi-finals, and he will also face the Disciplinary Board.
Three of his team mates, Shaharul Dennis Ruslan, Rashid Baharom and Fahmi Ashari, were handed one match suspension for abusing the umpires and technical officials after the final whistle of the ill tempered semis.
TODAY: Final -- Bandar Penawar Sports School Thun derbolt v UniKL (Tun Razak Stadium, 5.30pm); Third-Fourth: Petaling Jaya City Council v Bukit Jalil Sports School (Tun Razak Stadium, 3.30pm).