Sunday, August 29, 2010

Malaysia might end fourth

By S.S. Dhaliwal From Paris

MALAYSIA went down 1-4 to Ireland in their third match in the Five Nation Insep Hockey Challenge in Paris and may have let go an opportunity to win their first ever international tournament since 2005.
Although Malaysia have six points from two wins and a loss, they are in second spot, behind Scotland who also have six points as the Scots have scored eight goals as opposed to Malaysia's seven goals. Ireland moved up to third spot with five points as a result of two draws and the win over Malaysia while hosts France have four points following their 6-4 win over Poland today that condemned the Poles into last place for the tournament.
Malaysia will know just what they have to do against France tomorrow (Sunday) as Ireland will play against Scotland in an earlier match. If the Scots win, then Malaysia will need to better the number of goals Scotland scores in that match while an Ireland win means Malaysia has to win over France to emerge champions.
A defeat for Malaysia, with an Ireland win would mean Malaysia could end up in fourth spot, thus belittling their world ranking as they are the top ranked team in the tournament.
Coach Stephen van Huizen was peeved at the performance of the players, but lest be accused of coming up with excuses, Stephen did defend his team.
"We played badly and deserve to lose but at the same time we have to realise that the players must be tired after playing 12 matches during this tour," said Stephen.
"There was no urgency in their play and they seem to have lost their zest, hence the poor result in the match today. Still that is no excuse to lose to Ireland as it makes things more complicated and has opened up the tournament for the other teams.
"We could have put Ireland out of the equation and sit pretty on the top of the standings. But as it stands we can even end up second last.
"There is everything to play for against France, whom I must say have improved since the tournament startted."
Malaysia opted to play Roslan Jamaluddin in goal instead of S. Kumar as part of their rotation policy to provide players with more playing time.
Ireland opened scoring in the 12th minute via Eugene Magee who converted a penalty corner. But Malaysia drew evel in the 46th minute when Hafifihafiz Hanafi scored. Ireland hit back two minutes later through Mitch Darling and relied on counter attacks to catch Malaysia off guard to score another two goals.
Mitch scored the third in the 55th minute and Eugene made sure of the three points, scoring Ireland's fourth in the 65th minute.
"We have a chance to atone for the poor performance and the players realised that they cannot expect results if they play like that," said Stephen.
Such is the situation of the players due to the fasting month that the two players seected for random doping, Mohd Shukir Mutalib and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin had failed to produce a sample even after the end of the France v Poland match, some two hours after the end of the Malaysian match.

Magee strikes nail Malaysia


INSEP Five Nations: Ireland 4 (Eugene Magee 2, Phelie Maguire, Mitch Darling) Malaysia 1 (Hanafi Hafifihafiz)

Ireland kept the possibility of winning the INSEP Five Nations alive as they notched an impressive win over Malaysia in spite of giving up eight corners in Paris this afternoon, recording their best ever win over the Asian nation in their 12th meeting.
It leaves Paul Revington’s side with an outside chance of taking the inaugural title should they beat Scotland and Malaysia fail to beat France in Sunday’s tournament closer.
Peter Caruth – originally a non-travelling reserve – came in for Paul Gleghorne in the first change to the match day 16 this week.
Eugene Magee gave Ireland the early initiative in the 12th minute, taking on the drag-flicking responsibilities for the only goal of the first half. They had a couple of corner opportunities late in the half, too, as Mahammad Razie was sin-binned in the 28th minute but neither were taken to leave the gap at the minimum.
And, with Ronan Gormley yellow-carded for ten minutes, Malaysia started to create more openings in the second half, breaking their duck in the 45th minute when Hanafi Hafifihafiz levelled from open play.
But Phelie Maguire – with his third goal in two days – restored the advantage within two minutes and they created a more comfortable edge soon after.
Initially, Ireland were disappointed when a corner was down-graded to a bully. But Mitch Darling won the face-off and played the ball out to Timmy Cockram on the right wing who switched the ball into the middle for Darling to deflect home his 18th international goal and 3-1.
Malaysia came close to pulling one back soon after when number one runner Andy McConnell was carded for breaking the line. John Jackson kept the follow-up corner out with an excellent reaction save on the line.
The tie was sealed with six minutes to go by Magee whipped home his second corner, this time low to Roslan Jamaluddin’s glove side.
Speaking after the game, coach Paul Revington was pleased his side was able to finish off the tie after two draws: “We took our chances today which we have not done in previous games which is pleasing, but there is still plenty to improve on and rectify.” Ireland play Scotland tomorrow at 12.30 (Irish time) in their final test.
Ireland: David Harte, John Jackson, Geoff McCabe, Ronan Gormley (capt), Joe Brennan, Eugene Magee, Andy McConnell, Timmy Cockram, Phelie Maguire, David Ames, Conor Harte
Subs: Chris Cargo, Alan Giles, Peter Caruth, Alan Sothern, Mitch Darling
Malaysia: Roslan Jamaluddin, Muhamad Amin, Muhammad Marhan, Madzli Ikmar (capt), Shahrun Nabil, Mohamad Sukri, Mirson Azlan, Mahammad Razie, Hanafi Hafifihafiz, Baljit Singh, Ahmad Tajudin
Subs: Tajol Rosli, Izwan Firdaus, Saari Faizal, Mohan Jivan, Nabil Fiqri
Results: Ireland 4 (Eugene Magee 2, Phelie Maguire, Mitch Darling) Malaysia 1 (Hanafi Hafifihafiz); France 6 (Olivier Sanchez 2, Fabian Magner 2, Martin Genestet, Jean-Baptiste Pauchet) Poland 4 (Tomasz Dutkiewicz 2, Artur Mikula, Waldemar Rataj)
Standings: 1. Malaysia 6pts (+1) 2. Scotland 6pts (-1) 3. Ireland 5pts (+3) 4. France 4pts (+1) 5. Poland 1pt (-4)
Match Schedule (Irish Time):
Sunday (1.30pm): Ireland vs Scotland; (3pm) France vs Malaysia

Kelab Aman launch mini pitch for hockey

KELAB Aman launched a dual-purpose outdoor futsal and hockey court on Saturday to promote a healthy lifestyle among their members.
The Club, which was has been in existence for more than half a century and has an excellent cricket and soccer pitch, now offers an alternative to youth.
“We built the dual-purpose synthetic pitch because we have many members who actively play the sport at other venues.
“Now they can play and train at their home ground, and this facility might even unearth the next Punjabi to play in the national football team after Santokh Singh and Serbegeth Singh,” said Kelab Aman president Jasbere Singh.
Former Kelab Aman president and Malaysian Hockey Federation vice-president Datuk Dr S.S. Cheema was also at the launch and said: “If all clubs in Malaysia build a mini synthetic pitch, which are actually cheap, and utilises less land area, then the MHF dream of being able to match the best in the world would soon be realised.”
Malaysian footballer Titus James, who plays in the French Division Three, was also at the Club for the launch as he is on a one-month break.
The court is open from 7am to midnight, and the opening promotion price is RM80 per-hour, and RM130 per-hour with flood-lights.
For more information, visit or call 03-21486710.