Friday, September 30, 2011

KLHC on goal spree

UNIKL blew a penalty stroke, and a handful of sitters, but still managed to hold Maybank to a 2-2 draw in the Premier Division Of the TNB-Malaysia Hockey League at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
And Maybank had UniKL to thank for the two goals, as the University's Junior Hockey League top-scorer Zulhairi Hashim scored a brace to hand the Tigers one point.
UniKL took the lead off their first penalty corner, with the first attempt by Noor Faeez Ibrahim was saved by Maybank keeper Hafizuddin Othman.
But the rebound fell to Hafiz Zainol who then squared the ball to Izad Hakimi for the lead.
The seasoned Tigers pulled back to level terms who minutes later when Zulhairi scored off a penalty corner attempt.
A fitter UniKL took the match to Maybank after the breather and regained the lead off Izad Hakimi in the 45th minute, only to see Maybank draw level again in the 62nd minute, again off a Zulhairi penalty corner.
The match was heading for a draw, when UniKL were awarded a penalty stroke in the 65th minute, but Dedy Ariyady ballooned the ball and threw away two valuable points.
"Before the match, I was hoping that my charges would at least pull off a draw, but looking back now, we should have won full points. So we blew it big time," said UniKL manager Amir Azhar.
It was the third draw for UniKL, while Maybank rued their missed sitters and lamented the fact that they gave away too many penalty corners.
"We gave away penalty corners too easily, and that cost us the match. However, I have no complaints with the way my charges played, only we were not sharp in the semi-circle," said Maybank coach Wallace Tan.
In another Premier Division match, leaders Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) whipped Armed Forces Airod 9-3, to strenghten their grip on the title.
RESULTS -- Premier League: UiTM 0 TNB 6, Maybank 2 UniKL 2, Armed Forces Airod 3 KL Hockey Club 9, Nur Insafi 1 Sapura 7.
Division One: BJSS 0 Ipoh City Hall 1, SSTMI-Thunderbolt 2 Uniten 2.
SUNDAY -- Premier League: Sapura v UiTM (4pm, Pitch I NHS), UniKL v Nur Insafi Penang (5pm, Pitch II NHS), YNS v Maybank (6pm, Pitch I, NHS), TNB v Armed Forces Airod (8pm, Pitch I, NHS).
Division One: Ipoh City Hall v UNIMAP (Azlan Shah Stadium, 5pm), SSTMI-Thunderbolt v BJSS (Taman Daya, 5pm).

Premier Division
P W D L F A Pts
KL HC 5 5 0 0 29 8 15
Sapura 4 4 0 0 16 4 12
TNB 5 3 1 1 16 6 10
Nur Insafi 5 2 0 3 9 18 6
UniKL 5 1 3 1 11 11 6
Maybank 4 1 1 2 8 9 4
YNS 4 1 0 3 5 16 3
UiTM 4 0 1 3 4 16 1
Airod 4 0 0 4 7 19 0

Division One
P W D L F A Pts
T’bolt 5 3 2 0 15 11 11
Ipoh CH 5 2 2 1 9 13 8
BJSS 5 1 2 2 10 6 5
UNIMAP 4 1 1 2 7 7 4
Uniten 5 0 3 2 6 10 3

FIH threatens India

The Times of India

NEW DELHI: The FIH has issued a veiled threat to block India's participation in the 2012 London Olympics in case the government does not grant Hockey India the status of National Sports Federation and if all lawsuits, including the one filed by IHF against it, are not terminated.
Federation Internationale de Hockey (FIH), the world governing body of the game, shot a letter to sports secretary Sindhusree Khullar, asking the government to comply with the requirement of the IOC charter and FIH statutes.
The FIH, in the letter, reminded the government the points which were agreed upon when its president Leandro Negre met sports minister Ajay Maken.
Just before Negre's arrival, FIH had stripped India of the hosting rights of Champions Trophy and moved the elite event to New Zealand because of the game's governance issues.
The FIH letter, signed by Negre, mentions seven issues, including the payment India owe to FIH with regard to hosting of the 2010 World Cup.
The FIH has asked the government to "advise Hockey India and the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) not to proceed with the implementation of the broad arrangement reached on July 25" with regard to governance of the game in the country.
The FIH has also asked the "government to recognise Hockey India under its guidelines as the National Sports Federation with complete and exclusive authority to govern men's and women's hockey in India, in respect of both national competitions and Indian participation in international competitions.
The letter also says that the Indian government will not fund or support any hockey event, which is not sanctioned by FIH and/or Hockey India.
Apart from asking the government to clear all the dues by writing to the concerned bank, the FIH wanted all lawsuits and other claims about who has the right to govern hockey in India, to be resolved and terminated.
"If the above is achieved, then there will be full compliance with the requirement of the IOC Charter and the FIH statutes and there will be no more concerns about the participation of Indian hockey team in FIH-sanctioned competitions such as London 2012 Olympic Games," the letter read.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Maybank in for a rough ride

UNIKL are poised for another giant-killing feat when they meet Maybank in the Premier Division of the TNB-Malaysia Hockey League today.
It is the only matching encounter, while leaders Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club will have a chance to pile up their goal- count as they play Armed Forces Airod.
And second placed Sapura should be able to pull it off against Nur Insafi to keep pace with KLHC.
The University side made heads turn when they held Tenaga Nasional to a 3-3 draw with a last gasp equalsier, and then they kept up their furious pace against Sapura but were unlucky to lose 1-2.
UniKL, with young legs, have speed advantage and Noor Faeez, Rashid Baharom and Ramadhan Rosli have shown tremendous improvement.
And in goal, former Maybank player Abdul Hakim has pulled off some great saves to make his side look polished.
“We hope to snatch at least a point from Maybank, and we have been training hard for it,” said UniKL manager Amir Azhar.
Maybank have a rich tradition and have been with the MHL since its debut in 1987: “ We respect them as veterans in the MHL, but we do not fear them. My boys aim to match them, as I expect a close encounter.”
Maybank coach Wallace Tan was impressed with what he saw when UniKL held TNB to a draw, and killed off their title chase
“They are a young side but can’t be taken lightly. We have to thread with caution as they are fast and their counter. But still, we are optimistic that we can win if my players play to form.”
TODAY -- Premier League: UiTM v TNB (6pm, Pitch I NHS), Maybank v UniKL (6pm, Pitch II NHS), Armed Forces Airod v KL Hockey Club (8pm, Pitch I NHS), Nur Insafi v Sapura (8pm, Pitch II NHS).
Division One: BJSS v Ipoh City Hall (Ministry of Education, 8pm), SSTMI-Thunderbolt v Uniten (8pm, Taman Daya).
SUNDAY -- Premier League Sapura v UiTM (4pm, Pitch I NHS), UniKL v Nur Insafi Penang (5pm, Pitch II NHS), YNS v Maybank (6pm, Pitch I, NHS), TNB v Armed Forces Airod (8pm, Pitch I, NHS).
Division One: Ipoh City Hall v UNIMAP (Azlan Shah Sta dium, 5pm), SSTMI-Thunderbolt v BJSS (Taman Daya, 5pm).

Premier Division
P W D L F A Pts
KL HC 4 4 0 0 20 5 12
Sapura 3 3 0 0 9 3 9
TNB 4 2 1 1 12 6 7
Nur Insafi 4 2 0 2 8 11 6
UniKL 4 1 2 1 9 9 5
Maybank 3 1 0 2 6 7 3
YNS 4 1 0 3 5 16 3
UiTM 3 0 1 2 4 10 1
Airod 3 0 0 3 4 10 0

Division One
P W D L F A Pts
T’bolt 4 3 1 0 13 9 10
BJSS 4 1 2 1 10 5 5
Ipoh CH 4 1 2 1 8 13 5
UNIMAP 4 1 1 2 7 7 4
Uniten 4 0 2 2 5 9 2

Rich pickings at Sultan of Johor Cup

Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, Malaysian Hockey Federation president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman with the sponsors of the Sultan of Johor Cup at yesterday’s launch. — Picture by Zulkarnain Ahmad Tajuddin

By JJ Shah

THE state government's bid to turn Johor Baru into a sporting hub received a shot in the arm when the inaugural Sultan of Johor Cup was launched by Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar at the Johor International Convention Centre yesterday.
It will become the second annual international tournament in Johor Baru, joining the five-year-old Iskandar Johor Open Golf which draws big names from the European and Asian tours.
Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Ghani Othman listed cricket as the next international event that could be held in Johor Baru.
The Sultan of Johor Cup received a tremendous boost with a total of RM1.25 million in sponsorship at the launch.
In this year's tournament, Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, South Korea and hosts Malaysia will compete at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium on Nov 5-12. The tournament, held in conjunction with the Sultan of Johor's birthday celebrations, has been sanctioned by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and will feature on its hockey calendar.
"Due to time constraint, it is a six-nation tournament this year but we hope to bring European teams in the coming years and probably increase the total to eight or more teams," said Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.
Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar launched the tournament.
A total of RM1.25 million was raised from various sponsors with the Johor State Government contributing RM500,000 while other major sponsors include Johor Corporation, Danga Bay, Genting Berhad, Sapura Holdings, Sports Ministry, Century Logistics, Malaysian Pacific Corporation, SAJ Holdings Sdn Bhd, Central Malaysian Properties, BCB Berhad, UEM Land Holdings Berhad, Tenaga National and Titan Chemicals Corporation.

Japan champs, Malaysia ffith

It was a week to remember for the girls of Japan at the 3rd Under-18 Asia Cup, which took place at the Queen Sirikit National Hockey Stadium in Thailand from 16th-25th September. The Japanese youngsters became champions of the ten team tournament thanks to a 1-0 victory over the heavily-fancied China.
Malaysian women’s hockey team finished fifth when they beat Singapore 4-0 in the fifth-sixth placing match. In the Group stages, Malaysia beat Sri Lanka 10-1, lost to China 3-1, beat Kazakhstan 16-0 and lost to India 4-1.
A big crowd turned up to watch the climax of an outstanding week of hockey action in Bangkok, and were not disappointed as the two finest teams at the event went head to head in search of the Gold medal. Both sides had a number of fantastic chances to score, but were thwarted by superb defensive work and brilliant goalkeeping. The only goal of the game arrived late in the second half, with Japan’s Minami Shimizu clinically executing a well-worked penalty corner routine.
It was a fitting climax to what had been a high quality tournament which suggests that women’s hockey in Asia has a very bright future indeed.

The tournament Bronze medallists were India, who crushed Korea 3-0 in a match which took place ahead of the competition final. Incredibly, both India and Korea topped the Pool phase of the competition before being beaten in the Semi Finals by Japan and China respectively.
Away from the action on the field of play, the 59th Asian Hockey Federation Council Meeting was another important element of the proceedings in Bangkok. The conference took place on Saturday 24th September.
Final Standings
1 Japan
2 China
3 India
4 South Korea
5 Malaysia
6 Singapore
7 Thailand
8 Sri Lanka
9 Kazakhstan
10 Chinese - Taipei

Individual Awards
Top Scorer: Nam So Ri (Korea) / Meisham Kiran Devi (India)
Best Goalkeeper: Manlika Thonhongsa (Thailand)
Player of the tournament: Haduki Nagai (Japan)
Player of the final: Luo Tiantian (China)

Information and Image supplied by Thai Hockey

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

FACT BOX: Champions Challenge I

WITH exactly 2 months to go until the start of the FIH Champions Challenge 1 in Johannesburg the official website is now live at The participating nations are hosts South Africa, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, India (to be confirmed), Japan, Malaysia and Poland.
With the FIH having taken the prestigious Champions Trophy event away from India and given it to New Zealand, New Zealand, who were initially supposed to be part of the line up, have been promoted to the Champions Trophy as hosts and the FIH has extended an invitation to India to attend the Champions Challenge 1 tournament in Johannesburg. We are still awaiting confirmation that India have accepted this invitation.
So what so we know about the participating teams?
The hosts South Africa have recently been crowned as the African Champions at the African Games competition held in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Although this should secure them an automatic place at the Olympic Games in London, the South African Olympic Committee, SASCOC, has placed an additional condition on them to reach the final of the Champions Challenge 1 if they are to go to the Olympics, so they have everything to play for.
Argentina and Canada will be taking part in the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico from October 14 with one of the two teams expected to come away as the Pan American Champions and their place at London secured. Argentina and South Africa had a two match test series last week that was drawn with each team winning a game, though the South Africans lost 14 players to injury or overseas commitments for the second test.
Belgium secured their place at the Olympics by coming 4th at the EuroHockey Nations Championships losing out on the Bronze medal to Olympic hosts England, but knocking 2008 Olympic Silver medalists Spain out of automatic qualification for the 2012 Olympics on the way. Germany and Netherlands took the Gold and Silver medals respectively. Poland took the Silver medal in the second tier EuroHockey Nations Championships II having been beaten by Czech Republic and in doing so securing a place in one of the 3 Olympic Qualifier events to be held next year.
India, Malaysia and Japan have recently been in action in the Asian Champions Trophy that was held in Ordos, China. India beat traditionl arch rival and Asian Games Champions, Pakistan in the finals to take the Gold medal, their first success under new coach Australian Michael Nobbs. Japan and Malaysia played out for the Bronze medal in the tournament with Malaysia coming out on top in that encounter to take the Bronze. Korea, who are taking part in the Champions Trophy in New Zealand came 5th in that competition.
Apart from South Africa, Belgium and either Canada or Argentina all the other nations will be taking part in the Olympic Qualifier tournaments next year to try and secure a place at the Olympics and so this tournament will be giving them invaluable experience for those "winner takes all" competitions.

Champions Challenge I media release

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

KLHC a class above

KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) broke away from the pack early in the League and now look set to claim their second title in the TNB-Malaysia Hockey League.
KLHC, who won the Charity Shield by beating Tenaga National 2-1, are poised to lift the League title and then make a dash for the Overall title.
And it looks like their only challenger left standing are Sapura, who they play in their last league fixture on Oct 9.
And while KLHC -- who have nine national players in their fold -- are enjoying a super run which included an 8-0 hammering of Yayasan Negri Sembilan (YNS), teams who have hired foreign players are still struggling.
YNS have six Pakistan players, and it is believed that even though their MHL budget is about RM450,000, they still failed to produce the desired result. They have only beaten Nur Insafi 2-1 while their other defeats were against UniKL (4-3) and Tenaga (3-0).
Nur Insafi, who also have six foreign players in their stable, have only won two matches -- against UiTM (2-1) and Armed Forces (4-3).
UniKL, made up of Project 2013 players, are the revelation of the league as their persistence to use only locals, even though young, has paid off handsomely.
They started off shakily by holding UiTM 1-1 even though UiTM had five players from Oman,
UniKL then beat YNS 4-3, lost to Sapura 2-1 before holding Tenaga 3-3 which effectively ended Tenaga's League title dream even though they have nine national players to rely on.
UniKL play Maybank on Friday, and it looks like the bankers are in for a tough time.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Eight is Enough for KLHC

Pic: Chua Boon Huat being congratulated by KLHC players after he scored.

UNIKL turned the tables on favourites Tenaga Nasional, when they held them to a 3-3 draw with a last gasp equaliser in the Premier Division of the TNB-Malaysia Hockey League at the National Stadium yesterday.
In another match, double champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) hammered the daylights out of Yayasan Negri Sembilan (YNS) with and eight-goal fest.
The Universiti side, parading Project 2013 players, were expected to receive a hiding from Tenaga, but they proved to be resilient.
At one point, UniKL were leading 2-0, but inexperience saw them collapse.
The UniKL goals were scored by Noor Faeez Ibrahim (ninth, 70th), Hafiz Zainal (25th).
Amin Rahim (26th) and Faisal Saari (48th, 69th) scored the Tenaga goals.
"It was a match that we should have won but inexperience let us down. However, on the overall, I am happy with the spirit shown by my players. They did not give up until the final whistle," said UniKL manager Amir Azhar.
UniKL could have sealed the match, but let in some easy goals.
"We let in soft goals and need to work towards tightening our defense. Getting them to play consistently throughout the match seems to be our biggest challenge but given the fact that they are showing marked improvement in every match is a positive sign.
"I rather look at it as a point gained then two lost, as we were not given much of a chance before the match. And my players raised their game to match one of the favourites."
As for Maybank, who laboured for a slim 2-1 win, coach Wallace Tam said: "It was crucial to win this match as the three points are important. We lost the first two by a close margin and played well only to lose. This time around we did not play well but won, so really I cannot complain."
RESULTS: Premier League -- Maybank 2 Armed Forces Airod 1, Nur Insafi 2 UiTM 1, UniKL 3 TNB 3, YNS 0 KL Hockey Club 8.
Div One: BJSS 2 SSTMI-Thunderbolt 3, UNIMAP 2 Ipoh City Hall 3.

RUGBY SEVENS: Japan the best, Malaysia sixth

By Jugjet Singh

MALAYSIA'S campaign in the Borneo Sevens came to a stuttering halt when they lost to the Philippines in the quarter-finals at the Likas Stadium in Kota Kinabalu yesterday.
And after that, they rolled further downhill when they were beaten 19-0 by Taiwan and ended sixth at their own back-yard, and said good bye to the Rugby Sevens World Cup ticket.
For the record, Malaysia had beaten Taiwan 17-0 in their Group B match.
The Malaysian women had a worse day in office in the Asia Pacific Women's Sevens, when they ended last after failing to score a single point in all their matches.
Japan lifted the Cup after thrashing Philippines 46-0 to become the best in the region.
Malaysian men's coach Coach Wan Ibrahim Wan Chik attributed the downhill slide, after starting with two wins, to injuries and lack of exposure.
"We started off well by beating Brunei and Taiwan, but after that, injuries crept into the team and we lost three back-line players by the time we played Taiwan again.
"Also, seven out of 12 players are 18-years-old, and they lack experience, while the seniors lacked fitness in the quarter-fnals," said Wan Ibrahim.
The coach feels his charges should play more often against foreign sides: "Hockey and foootball players regularly play overseas and are fast improving, while rugby players hardly get to play out of the country.
"In Malaysia, these are the best we have, but they are not good enough to play against teams in this region. We need to arrest this problem fast," said Wan Ibrahim.
TODAY: Men (Quarter-finals) -- Malaysia 14 Philippines 28, China 31 UAE 10, Hong Kong 36 Taiwan 0, Japan 36 South Korea 0.
Cup Semi-finals: China 17 Philippines 19, Hong Kong 12 Japan 15.
Cup Final: Philippines 0 Japan 46; Third-Fourth: China 14 Hong Kong 34.
Plate Semi-finals: Malaysia 40 UAE 5, Taiwan 24 South Korea 2.
Plate Final (Fifth-Sixth): Malaysia 0 Taiwan 19; Seventh-Eighth: UAE 17 South Korea 12.
Bowl Semi-finals: Thailand 19 Sri Lanka 26, Brunei 0 Kazakhstan 26.
Bowl Final (ninth-10th): Sri Lanka 26 Kazakhstan 17; 11th-12th: Thailand 31 Brunei 3.
Women: Final: Papua New Guinea 24 China 10; Third-Fourth: Sri Lanka 17 Kazakhstan 5; Fifth-Sixth: Cook Islands 5 Singapore 7; Seventh-Eighth: Malaysia 0 Tonga 42.

The Oceania Olympic Qualifier Show..

Official Qualification Tournament for the Olympic Games

Oceania Cup 2011

Hobart 6-9 October

Tasmanian Hockey Centre

The Oceania Cup 2011 will see Australia and New Zealand compete for the two available Oceania spots in the 2012 London Olympic Games. With Fiji men and women pulling out of the Oceania Cup 2011, both Australia and New Zealand have secured their spot in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Tickets are now on Sale - head to

Official Qualification Tournament for the Olympic Games

Oceania Cup 2011

Hobart 6-9 October

Tasmanian Hockey Centre

The Oceania Cup 2011 will see Australia and New Zealand compete for the two available Oceania spots in the 2012 London Olympic Games. With Fiji men and women pulling out of the Oceania Cup 2011, both Australia and New Zealand have secured their spot in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Tickets are now on Sale - head to

Men's Competition


The number one ranked team in the world will be looking to secure a spot in their 14th consecutive Olympic Games. The Oceania Cup matches will be a good lead-up into a busy latter part of the year; including the International Super series in October and Champions Trophy in December.

New Zealand Black Sticks

The 7th ranked nation in the world will be aiming to qualify for the Olympic Games, as well as get serious match practice against the highly ranked Kookaburras. Their form has been good after finishing 4th at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in May.

Women's Competition


The Hockeyroos are the 2nd ranked Oceania team and currently ranked 7th in the world. They will be hoping to improve on their recent good form against Argentina in April. The players should be fit and firing after a solid year of competition including: Argentina Series, AHL, 4 Nations Invitational, Netherlands Series, and The Champions Trophy.

New Zealand Black Sticks

The Black Sticks are currently one world ranking ahead of the Hockeyroos and subsequently the number one ranked Oceania team. The Black Sticks have been in very good form in 2011 with series victories over Korea & Japan, and a drawn series with top ranked Argentina.

Match Fixture

The order of play is based on world rankings.
Men: 1-Australia, 2- New Zealand
Women: 1-New Zealand, 2-Australia

Thursday 6th October 2011

New Zealand v Australia


2 v 1


Australia v New Zealand


2 v 1


Friday 7th October 2011

Rest Day

Saturday 8th October 2011

New Zealand v Australia


2 v 1


Australia v New Zealand


2 v 1


Sunday 9th October 2011

Australia v New Zealand


2 v 1


New Zealand v Australia


2 v 1


Overconfidence can kill

TNB’s Faizal Saari and YNS goalkeeper Nasir Ahmed face-off on Friday. TNB won 3-0. — Picture by Fariz Iswadi Ismail.

TENAGA Nasional Berhad (TNB) coach Lailin Abu Hassan has warned his players not to be overconfident when they face UniKL in today's TNB-MHL Premier Division match at the National Hockey Stadium.
TNB are hoping to finally hit peak form following unconvincing wins of late while UniKL want to bounce back from their 2-1 defeat to Sapura on Friday.
Lailin hopes his team will finally show their true colours today.
"UniKL are a fit team with many talented players. We cannot take them lightly as they are energetic," said Lailin yesterday.
"I will likely make some tactical changes to counter UniKL's fast pace style of play."
UniKL manager Amir Azhar Ibrahim said his team need to work on their composure to win matches.
"We led for 64 minutes against Sapura before they hit back with two quick goals.
"It was a waste as my boys controlled almost the entire match. I do not want this to happen again," said Amir.
On today's match, he said his side must play a tight game to contain TNB.
"We cannot afford to play an open game as TNB are an experienced side," added Amir.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

RUGBY SEVENS: A step away from glory

By Jugjet Singh

MALAYSIA started off with powerful wins over Brunei and Taiwan, but ran out of steam and lost 35-5 to defending champions Hong Kong in the Borneo Sevens at the Likas Stadium in Kota Kinabalu yesterday.
Malaysia's only try was a 50-metre run from K. Dinesh, but he failed the conversion.
However, finishing second in Group B will now see them play Philippines in the quarter-finals.
Coach Wan Ibrahim Wan Chik was not surprised with the defeat to Hong Kong, but felt his charges gave the defending champions too much of respect.
"We started off well by beating Brunei and Taiwan, and could have done much better against Hong Kong if the players had played their normal game.
"However, I could see that they gave Hong Kong too much of respect, and coupled with three silly mistakes, we lost the match," said Wan Ibrahim.
But the margin of defeat was something for the coach to smile about: "We have yet to beat Hong Kong in a tournament, and normally lose by 50 points. So restricting them to 35 was some sort of an achievement itself."
And in the quarters, the coach feels his charge have a 50-50 chance
against Philippines.
"The target is to play in the semi-finals, and it is still within reach. I believe my players will recover in time to give a better performance in the last-eight."
Malaysia might lose prolific player Ameer Nasrun in the quarters, as he was stretchered out early after receiving a nasty knock early in the match.
Hong Kong coach Gai Rees is fielding eight players from last year's Borneo sevens, and they are the early favourites to retain the title.
"We knew that the match against Malaysia would be the toughest in our group, so we watched them play their earlier two matches and spotted four areas where Malaysia were vulnerable.
"We capitalised on those areas and won the match comfortably. However, I can see that Malaysia has improved tremendously from last
year, and would soon be a team to watch," said Rees.
RESULTS: Men -- Group A: South Korea 46 Thailand 0, China 24 Sri Lanka 17, South Korea 21 Sri Lanka 19, China 36 Thailand 0, South Korea 7 China 36, Thailand 34 Sri Lanka 14.
Group B: Hong Kong 31 Taiwan 17, Malaysia 29 Brunei 5, Hong Kong 62 Brunei 0, Malaysia 17 Taiwan 0, Hong Kong 35 Malaysia 5, Taiwan 43 Brunei 0.
Group C: Japan 50 Philippines 0, Kazakhstan 38 UAE 17, Japan 19 UAE 7, Kazakhstan 19 Philippines 24, Japan 33 Kazakhstan 5, Philippines 22 UAE 14.
TODAY: Quarter-finals -- Malaysia v Philippines, China v UAE, Hong Kong v Taiwan, Japan v South Korea.

Faizal spark for Tenaga

Faizal Saari scores Tenaga’s first goal in their match against Yayasan NS in the Malaysian Hockey League at the National Hockey Stadium yesterday. — Picture by Fariz Iswadi Ismail

A HAT-TRICK from national player Faizal Saari gave Tenaga Nasional a 3-0 victory over Yayasan Negri Sembilan (YNS) in a TNB-MHL Premier Division match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Faizal converted a penalty stroke in the 10th minute after Amin Rahim's penalty corner set-piece hit the foot of YNS defender Ihsan Ullah Khan on the goal line.
He doubled TNB's lead with a reverse stick strike after 20 minutes before converting a penalty corner in the 56th minute.
However, the hot-headed Faizal was sent to the sin bin in the final minute of the first half for hitting YNS keeper Nasir Ahmed. And in the 48th minute, it was the turn of Firhan Ashaari to be sent to the sin bin.
TNB coach Lailin Abu Hassan was not pleased with his players' patchy performance.
"My team did not play well but what matters is the three points. We need to improve on our final passes," said Lailin in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
In another match, Nur Insafi registered their first victory by edging Armed Forces Airod 4-3 courtesy of Syed Sibtain Raza Nagvi's goal from a penalty corner set-piece a minute before the final whistle.
Nur Insafi's other goals were through Damandeep Singh (fifth), Abdul Asin Khan (26th) and Prem Kumar (37th).
Nur Hafizie Jamil Azomi (10th), Ahmad Ridzuan Zainal Abidin (20th) and Mohd Zulkifli (61st) replied for Armed Forces.

Friday, September 23, 2011

RUGBY SEVENS: Women zero, men aim to be heroes

By Jugjet Singh

MALAYSIA received a dream draw, and will now look for a super start against Brunei in the Borneo Sevens at the Likas Stadium in Kota Kinabalu today.
The fact that three senior players made themselves available for the tournament yesterday, has boosted Malaysia's chances of topping Group B.
"We are looking forward to a good start against Brunei and with the availability of three seniors, I believe we will give all the teams in our group a tough fight," said Wan Ibrahim Wan Chik.
Syahir Asyraf, the best centre in Malaysia, Kini Rasolosolo a naturalised Fijian and K. Dinesh were released from club duty and their experience will be of great help.
"Malaysia played without senior players in the Shanghai leg, which was also during the Fasting Month, and this was the reason for a poor show (we finished sixth).
"Now that we have the best in the country, and with home ground advantage, the plan is to top the group so that the crossover opponents would be much easier."
And to top the group, Malaysia will have to beat a strong Hong Kong side as well as Brunei and Taiwan.
Meanwile, the Malaysian women got off to a horrific start in the Asia Pacific Women's Sevens as they were thrashed to glory yesterday and failed to even score a single point against Papua New Guinea, Tonga and China.
RESULTS: Women -- Singapore 5 Cook Islands 34, Hong Kong 10 Samoa 12, China 21 Tonga 15, Malaysia 0 Papua New Guinea 46, Singapore 10 Samoa 12, Hong Kong 24 Cook Islands 10, China 12 Papua New Guinea 10, Malaysia 0 Tonga 25.
Singapore 5 Hong Kong 28, Cook Islands 5 Samoa 33, China 29 Malaysia 0, Tonga 10 Papua New Guinea 17.
Today: Men -- Group A: South Korea v Thailand, China v Sri Lanka, South Korea v Sri Lanka, China v Thailand, South Korea v China, Thailand v Sri Lanka.
Group B: Hong Kong v Taiwan, Malaysia v Brunei, Hong Kong v Brunei, Malaysia v Taiwan, Hong Kong v Malaysia, Taiwan v Brunei.
Group C: Japan v Philippines, Kazakhstan v UAE, Japan v UAE, Kazakhstan v Philippines, Japan v Kazakhstan, Philippines v UAE.

FIJI DEBACLE: MHF write to FIH for play-off..

THE Fiji men's hockey team have withdrawn for the Oceania Olympic Qualifier, and this has prompted the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) to put forward a playoff proposal to the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
The MHF feel that the current Olympic Qualifier criteria should be reviewed as now only Australia and New Zealand will play in the Oceania Cup, which offers two tickets to the Olympics.
In contrast the Asian Games, which has five of the top-15 teams in the world, offers only one seat to the Olympics and Pakistan won it by beating Malaysia 2-0.
MHF secretary Maninderjit Singh wrote to FIH Competitions Manager Martyn Gallivan: "As part of the FIH CEO Forum Team, I would like to suggest the current Olympic Qualification criteria to be analysed again in order to address Fiji's withdrawl from the Oceania Cup.
"MHF's suggestion is to have a one-off or best of three play-off between the runners-up of the Asian Games and runners-up of the Australia-New Zealand match."
And to justify MHF's request, five points were raised.
1. Only one direct slot was given to Asia via the 2010 Asian Games, while Oceania has two direct slots.
2. Ten teams competed in the 2010 Asian Games, while only three for the Oceania Cup (before Fiji withdrew).
3. Five teams from Asia are ranked in the top-15 bracket in the world (South Korea, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Japan and China).
4. The Asian Games is high standard tournament as the Asian Hockey Federation organised a qualifying round.
Maninderjit also said: "While I am aware that the decision of the three Qualifiers and the teams (pools) shall be made known on Nov 8, I still feel the above proposal is rationale with valid points to review the Qualifying criteria.
"Malaysia will be ever willing to assist and to host the play-off matches between Malaysia and New Zealand or Australia."
The FIH have yet to release news of Fiji's withdrawl on their website, but Oceania Cup hosts Tasmania has confirmed it with a press statement.
"Hockey Tasmania has expressed its disappointment that Fiji has withdrawn both its national teams from next month's Olympic qualifying tournament in Hobart.
"The announcement, blamed on 'government and corporate financial constraints' in Fiji, means both the Kookaburras (Australian men) and Hockeyroos (Australian women) receive automatic qualification to the 2012 London Games.
"Fiji's women's team had already withdrawn but the addition of the men's team renders the Oceania Cup a two-horse race in both genders."

Fiji withdraws from Olympic Qualifier

Hockey Tasmania has expressed its disappointment that Fiji has withdrawn both its national teams from next month's Olympic qualifying tournament in Hobart.
"The announcement, blamed on 'government and corporate financial constraints' in Fiji, means both the Kookaburras (Australian men) and Hockeyroos (Australian women) receive automatic qualification to the 2012 London Games.
"Fiji's women's team had already withdrawn but the addition of the men's team renders the Oceania Cup a two-horse race in both genders."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

RUGBY SEVENS: Malaysia in easy group

MALAYSIA have been drawn in a relatively kind group, and look good to achieve their top-four target in the Borneo Sevens at the Likas Stadium in Kota Kinabalu.
The tournament starts today with the Asia Pacific Women Sevens, where Malaysia is in the same category as China, Papua New Guinea and Tonga.
Malaysian men kick off their campaign against Brunei tomorrow, and the others in their pool are Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The Borneo Sevens is the second round of the HSBC Asian Rugby Sevens Series, one of only two events in the Asian circuit where teams can earn points to qualify for the Hong Kong World Cup Sevens Series.
The other is the Shanghai Sevens which was held in August and Malaysia were placed sixth, behind China.
“It was a good draw and Malaysia will be fighting for the top spot in their pool. We have to beat Brunei and Taiwan to be in the running to advance to the Hong Kong World Cup Sevens”, said Malaysian coach Wan Ibrahim Wan Chik.
Malaysia now need to finish among the top four in Kota Kinabalu to confirm their spot in the Hong Kong World Cup Sevens Series.
Malaysian women's skipper Haslinda Salleh, 27, said: "We are a development side and looking for more exposure in this tournamnent. I believe it will be a tough tournament, but my players are game to give their best."
The women's team is made up of students, housewives and even those who hold professional jobs.
"We finished third in the last tournament, and I believe we are the same standard as Singapore while we have yet to play Tonga and Papua New Guinea.
"China are out of our league, so we will be having a tough and bruising tournament where we will try and keep our third spot," said the Malaysian women's team manager Raimi Yusof.
Organising chairman Velayuthan Tan said: "Rugby Sevens has grown tremendously and is now recognised as an Olympic sport. It will be making its debut in the 2016 Olympics and that is why Malaysia need to prepare early so that we have a better chance in the qualifier."
MEN -- Pool A: South Korea, China, Thailand, Sri Lanka; Pool B: Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Brunei; Pool C: Japan, Kazakhstan, Philippines, United Arab Emirates.
WOMEN: Pool A: Singapore, Hong Kong, Cook Islands, Samoa; Pool B: China, Malaysia, Tonga, Papua New Guinea.
TODAY: Women -- Singapore v Cook Islands, Hong Kong v Samoa, China v Tonga, Malaysia v Papua New Guinea, Singapore v Samoa, Hong Kong v Cook Islands, China v Papua New Guinea, Malaysia v Tonga.
Singapore v Hong KOng, Cook Islands v Samoa, China v Malaysia, Tonga v PApua New Guinea.

KLHC and Sapura in control

By Ajitpal Singh

DEFENDING champions KL Hockey Club (KLHC) and Sapura maintained their 100 per cent record in the TNB-MHL Premier Division after both teams recorded their second league victories in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

KLHC cruised to a 7-2 win over minnows UiTM while Sapura edged Maybank 3-2.
KLHC started on a promising note by taking a healthy three-goal lead through Chua Boon Huat (5th minute), Harvinder Singh (26th) and Kevinder Singh (41st).
UiTM, however, fought back with two quick strikes from Tariq Nazir Ahmad (43rd) and Muhd Aslam Hanafiah (46th).
KLHC tightened their game and scored four more times through Ismail Abu (52nd), Boon Huat (56th), Fitri Saari (62nd) and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Jalil (68th) for three points.
"I am happy with the win but unhappy with the performances of my players," said KLHC team manager George Koshy.
"UiTM made it difficult at first as they defended well. We need to work on several areas before we play Maybank (tomorrow)."
Sapura, the former champions, defended frantically in the final minutes of the match against Maybank to claim their second league win.
They took a comfortable 3-0 lead through a brace from Azreen Rizal Nasir (first and 21st) and a penalty corner set-piece from captain S. Kuhan.
Maybank forced themselves back into the match with Zulhairi Hashim's two goals in the 26th and 44th minutes.
Sapura then conceded several penalty corners, which Maybank failed to convert.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

YNS to show true colours

YAYASAN Negri Sembilan (YNS) will know if they are championship material when they play Tenaga and Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) back-to-back this weekend.
YNS, who scraped past a fighting Nur Insafi 2-1 on Sunday, should have no problem beating UniKL tomorrow before their big weekend.
"My Pakistan players (six of them) were a little too eager to attack in the first half as they were playing to the style which was taught to them.
"However, I told them to slow down the pace in the second half, and we managed to beat Nur Insafi," said YNS coach K. Rajan.
With the opening weekend out of the way, Rajan is confident his team will be ready for Tenaga and KLHC.
"By then, I would have had enough time to train the foreign players to play as a team with the locals and be ready to give Tenaga and KLHC a tough time as we are looking to upset the form book this season."
Rajan, a former Tenaga and national juniors coach, feels the tournament is still open and the front runners must not take any team lightly.
"Nur Insafi were the whipping boys last season, but I believe they will trouble even KLHC and Tenaga as well as Sapura," said the experienced coach.
YNS were saved the blushes by their Pakistan penalty corner flicker Ihsan Ullah Khan, who scored both their goals off penalty corners.
"Ihsan is a former international and he has the power, and I need to work a little on the direction. I believe he will be an asset. When he was playing for Pakistan, he never got a chance to flick during penalty corners as Sohail (Abbas) was at his best then," said Rajan.

Monday, September 19, 2011

DJ Jenny to go nude for India boyz

MUMBAI: Move over Poonam Pandey. DJ Jenny is here! Miffed at the apathetical treatment meted out to the sport of hockey and its national players, Mumbai-based DJ Jenny D has decided to auction her pictures from a nude photo-shoot and donate the proceeds to Rajpal Singh's Asian Champions Trophy conquerors.
It all began when Hockey India announced a paltry sum of Rs 25,000 for each member of Indian team which beat Pakistan in the final in Ordos, China. "There were stories of our hockey players not being able to afford the right footwear before the final. The measly prize money was only adding insult to injury. Compare this to the way cricketers are treated. The injustice is there for all to see. It's a matter of serious concern," says Jenny.
The DJ, who is also a model and acts, will pose for the lenses in Mumbai on Saturday. She plans to conduct an online auction the following week. "A couple of portals have already approached me to buy the images. There's also an international men's magazine that has offered to pay me Rs 10 lakh for a nude cover shoot that would have just three hockey sticks in the frame," says the 24-year-old.
Comparisons with Poonam Pandey - who offered to pose in the buff if the Indian team won the World Cup - are bound to surface but Jenny doesn't think too much of it. "I have done photo shoots like this for causes like opposing the casting couch in the film industry and fighting for reservation for women, so this is not something that's inspired. Sensible people wouldn't associate me with Poonam Pandey," says Jenny, hinting at Pandey's delay in fulfilling her promise.
Aware that her method may cause a furore, Jenny says, "There are bound to be critics but when you come across injustice, you shouldn't consider detractors. People in India don't want to get out of that traditional shell. They forget we are in the 21st century."

The Times of India

Sunday, September 18, 2011

YNS edge Nur Insafi 2-1

YAYASAN Negri Sembilan (YNS) had to forfeit their nine lives before beating Nur Insafi 2-1 off their ninth penalty corner in the Premier Division of the TNB-Malaysia Hockey League yesterday.
YNS started off with a stroke of luck in the ninth minute when Nur Insafi Pakistan import Kashif Ali missed a penalty stroke, but lady luck deserted them in the 24th minute.
Local player Harris Fadila scored off a field attempt, and that was the most exciting action of the first half.
Nur Insafi and YNS have each registered six foreign players, but there seem to be a lack of understanding in their first League match.
For the record, YNS beat Nur Insafi 4-2 and 6-1 in the return leg last season.
The second half was a midfield affair, but YNS started attacking after 15 minutes into the match and won a string of penalty corners, but only got it right in their eighth attempt.
Pakistan import Ihsan Ullah Khan's 59th minute attempt pulled his team on level terms, and YNS started to attack more often as they went looking for the winner.
And they got it in the 69th minute, off their ninth penalty corner when Ullah struck again for full points.
Meanwhile, Sapura chalked up an unimpressive 4-0 win over a weak Armed Forces Airod.
Sapura fielded four national players but only Azreen Rizal delivered with a hat-trick (eigtht, 29th, 66th) and Sapura were let off the hook.
The other goal was scored by Joel Samuel van Huizen in the 69th minute.
The rest of their national players, and former players like S. Kuhan, Jiwa Mohan, Redzuan Ponirin, Robert Alcantra and Faizal Daud, were of little help to the team's cause.
"While I am happy with the win and the four goals, we were playing in patches and that is an area we need to work on. In reality this was the first time they played together as a team as many of my players had work commitment," said Sapura coach I.Vikneswaran.
In another Premier Division match, unfancied UiTM scared the daylights out of UniKL when their Oatar import Sherza Ali scored in the 12th minute, but Noor Faeez scored off their fifth penalty corner in the 59th minute to hand UniKL one important point.
UiTM yesterday fielded all their five Qatar imports Muhammad Rizwan, Sheraz Ali, Tariq Nazir, Sami Ullah and Sohail Mustafa.
RESULTS: Division One -- SSTMI-Thunderbolt 4 Uniten 2, Ipoh City Hall 0 BJSS 6.
Premier League: Armed Forces Airod 0 Sapura 4, Uitm 1 UniKL 1, Nur Insafi Penang 1 Yayasan Negri Sembilan 2.
WEDNESDAY: Premier Division -- Sapura v Maybank (6pm, Pitch I), UniKL v Yayasan NS (8pm, Pitch I), Kuala Lumpur HC v UiTM (6pm, Pitch II), Tenaga v Nur Insafi (8pm, Pitch II).
All matches at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
DIVISION ONE: SSTMI-Thunderbolt v UNIMAP (Ministry of Education, 5pm), BJSS v Uniten (Ministry of Education, 8pm).



P W D L F A Pts
SAPURA 1 1 0 0 4 0 3
KLHC 1 1 0 0 2 1 3
YAYASAN NS 1 1 0 0 2 1 3
UITM 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
UNIKL 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
TENAGA 1 0 0 1 1 2 0
NUR INSAFI 1 0 0 1 1 2 0
ATM AIROD 1 0 0 1 0 4 0
MAYBANK 0 0 0 0 0 0 0


P W D L F A Pts
BJSS 2 1 1 0 7 1 4
THUNDERBOLT 1 1 0 0 4 2 3
UNIMAP 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
UNITEN 2 0 1 1 4 6 1
IPOH CH 2 0 1 1 2 8 1


Despite have five national players and a host of ex-internationals, Sapura struggled to register a 4-0 win over a resilient Armed Forces Airod at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil... READ MORE AT

Saturday, September 17, 2011

KLHC snatch Charity Shield from Tenaga

KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) lifted their maiden Charity Shield when they edged Tenaga Nasional 2-1 in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) curtain raiser at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil last night.
It was not much of a match, as there was hardly any excitement created by 18 national players, nine each in KLHC and Tenaga, and they looked more like they were still recovering from the Asian Champions Trophy bronze battle.
KLHC looked the better side in the first 10 minutes of the match, and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin finally gave them something to cheer with a deft reverse stick attempt.
The clock only showed nine minutes into the match, but Tengku's reverse stick shot went crashing into the net to beat Tenaga goalkeeper S. Kumar for the lead.
However, two consecutive Shield winners Tenaga did not look rattled but kept pushing for the equaliser and it came off a goalmouth melee in the 14th minute.
KLHC goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin stopped the first shot from Faizal Saari, but the rebound from Fariq Saadon went crashing into the board for the equaliser.
KLHC won the only penalty corner of the first half, but Radzi Rahim's low push was easily stopped and both teams went into the dressing room to plot the second half.
KLHC were again the better side after the breather, and won their second penalty corner but still, Razie's attempt was first stopped by an onrusing Baljit Singh while his second attempt was stopped by Kumar.
However, KLHC skipper Azlan Misron took matters into his own hands, and after receiving a pass in the 48th minute, his reverse stick grounder beat Roslan to put his team in the driving seat again.
That goal was enough to hand them three valuable points, and now they are the team to beat for the League title.
"We went in looking for three points, and got what we wanted and winning the Shield for the first time has also placed us in a good positing to defend our League title," said KLHC team manager George Koshy.
KLHC next play UiTM on Wednesday, and it would most likely be a goal fest for them.
RESULTS: Division One -- Uniten 2 Ipoh City Hall 2, BJSS 1 UNIMAP 1.
Premier League -- (Charity Shield): KL Hockey Club 2 Tenaga Nasional 1.
TODAY: Division One -- SSTMI-Thunderbolt v Uniten (Education Ministry, 5pm), Ipoh City Hall v BJSS (Azlan Shah Stadium, 5pm).
Premier League: Armed Forces Airod v Sapura (National Stadium, 4pm), Uitm v UniKL (National Stadium, 6pm), Nur Insafi Penang v Yayasan Negri Sembilan (National Stadium, 8pm).

Friday, September 16, 2011

FIH checkmate India

By S.Thyagarajan

Leandro Negre was forthright. He stated without a hint of ambiguity the perception of the FIH to the mess that hockey is in India.
“Toe the line or face the music” was the FIH President's refrain in Delhi.
The belligerence of the FIH surprises none. Even as officials were preparing to plead for a re-think on the Champions Trophy, a note that Auckland will host it was being circulated. The timing was impeccable. It silenced any debate from the Indian side.
More disturbing are the hints thrown about disaffiliation. The FIH is consciously avoiding confirmation of the Olympic qualifier sanctioned to New Delhi in March. This coupled with the threat of disaffiliation puts India under pressure.
The FIH probably does not see India anymore as the financial cow to be milked at will. The lessons coming out of the Hero Honda World Cup are compelling the FIH to re-work its strategy of enlarging the financial muscle of the federation using India as a catalyst.

A major component

The thinking in the FIH was definitely on making capital out of India. The passion for the sport, the TV ratings of the India-Pakistan opener, the incredible crowd following matching the fervour of soccer in Europe, all showed India as the major component in the FIH' s financial schemes.
Now, the irritants of red-tape and complexities in transferring funds quickly are intimidating. The FIH therefore is not hesitating to flourish the disaffiliation card and the option of taking away the Olympic qualifier.
This is a challenge. Whether the agencies fighting for governance are cohesive enough to overcome is a moot question. The cacophony of voices in the administration makes it clear that there is no meeting point.
Beyond a point, the Sports Ministry is shackled as a facilitator. The rival factions spurn every attempt at unification, buffeted by legal observations and prevarication.
The trophy triumph at Ordos in the Asian Champions Trophy has come not a day too soon. Perhaps it is a coincidence that the FIH was in Delhi when the team arrived to a warm welcome and felicitations.
The outcome should send the correct signal to the FIH that India as an entity cannot be trifled with. Disqualifying a country with a shining record of eight Olympic gold medals from playing hockey is akin to FIFA prohibiting Brazil and from playing international soccer.
Does the FIH sincerely believe it can monitor a major Olympic discipline without India in its roll?
Whatever loophole it may figure out to discipline the administration, will such a step get for it a consensus?
Hockey players, coaches, administrators and aficionados everywhere speak in one voice underlining the need for India to be back as a major force.
The issue of disaffiliation hanging like the sword of Damocles may help the FIH to keep alive a threat.
But enforcing it in the Olympic year will dent its image in the eyes of the international sports community. Will IOC countenance such a measure?
This does not imply the FIH's threat is empty. It is projected as an instrument to introduce an element of urgency in solving the problems.
Unless a unified federation is shaped quickly pin-pricks from the FIH will continue.
In the interest of the sport, which is showing signs of resurgence at Ordos, Hockey India and Indian Hockey Federation cannot further delay a nuanced integration acceptable to IOA and the FIH.
Time is running out for all.

No room for mistakes in TNB-MHL

THERE is no room for mistakes in the six-week TNB- Malaysia Hockey League (MHL), and fitness could well decide who gets their hands on the three silverware up for grabs starting today.
Tenaga Nasional and Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) will square off in the Charity Shield at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil tonight, and the losing team could well find themselves in a tight spot.
“This is a very short League and so we can’t afford to drop any points as there is no return leg like last season.
“Also, we will playing back-to-back matches and fitness would come into play in the first week itself,” said KLHC skipper Azlan Misron.
Azlan is a national trainee, but was left out of the Asian Champions Trophy, and so he is ready for the League unlike Tenaga Nasional skipper Madzli Ikmar.
“I just returned from Ordos (Asian Champions Trophy) two days ago and after playing some highly competitive matches, I do feel a little tired.
“However, hockey is a team sport and I believe my team- mates are ready to give their best in the Charity Shield which comes with three valuable points,” said Madzli.
There are nine national trainees in Tenaga while KLHC have the equal number.
The other teams in the Premier Division are Maybank. Sapura, UiTM, UniKL, Yayasan Negri Sembilan, Armed Forces and Nur Insafi.
There are only five teams in Division One and they are Ipoh City Hall , SSTMI-Thunderbolt, Bukit Jalil Sports School, Uniten and UNIMAP.
The development side in the MHL is UniKL, who have been the front runners in grooming players, but have suffered a high turn-over.
UniKL team manager Amir Azhar said: “We are only three years old, and the turn over had been very high because other clubs can offer them more cash.
“However, we are not too worried, as we have eleven Project 2013 players in the squad, and they will be beefed up by four former national trainees, former national S. Sel varaju and also five national under-18 players.”
UniKL lost three influential players in Amir Farid to Tenaga, Mohamed Syamim to KLHC after the conclusion of the last Junior Hockey League and last season’s JHL top scorer Mohamed Zulhairi to Maybank.
Sapura, Yayasan Negri Sembilan and UiTM will be fielding foreign players, but it looks like KLHC and Tenaga are going to share the Charity Shield, League title and TNB-Cup this year.
TODAY: Division One -- Uniten v Ipoh City Hall (Tun Razak 5pm), BJSS v UNIMAP (Education Ministry, 8pm).
Premier League -- (Charity Shield): KL Hockey Club v Tenaga Nasional (National Hockey Stadium, 8pm).
TOMORROW: Division One -- SSTMI-Thunderbolt v Uniten (Education Ministry, 5pm), Ipoh City Hall v BJSS (Azlan Shah Stadium, 5pm).
Premier League: Armed Forces Airod v Sapura (National Stadium, 4pm), Uitm v UniKL (National Stadium, 6pm), Nur Insafi Penang v Yayasan Negri Sembilan (National Stadium, 8pm).

Thursday, September 15, 2011

In no mood for Charity...

KLHC skipper Azlan Misron (left) and Tenaga skipper Madzli Ikmar.
From left: KLHC team manager George Koshy, coach R. Vivekanandan, skipper Azlan Misron -- Tenaga skipper Madzli Ikmar, coach Lailin Abu Hassan and manager Samsul Ariffin.

KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) and Tenaga Nasional will be looking for a killing when they lock horns in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Charity Shield at the National Hockey Stadium tomorrow.

Both sides have nine national players each, and high on their list is the three points, and second is the Shield that comes with it.
KLHC, last season’s double champions, lost the Shield to Tenaga, but went on to lift the League as well as the TNB Cup.
And Tenaga will aim for a hat-trick of Shields, as well as wrestle both the other titles from KLHC.
“The Shield is secondary, as it will come naturally with what we will be looking for in the opening encounter -- three valuable points,” was the point-blank charge from KLHC team manager George Koshy.
Tenaga coach Lailin Abu Hassan was equally determined: “We have won back-to-back Charity Shields (2009 against Sapura and 2010 against KLHC), and are in no mood to be charitable on Saturday, as it comes with three valuable points,” said
However, it is not expected to be an explosive and open encounter, as both teams have tired legs from the Asian Champions Trophy in Ordos.
“My players just returned on Wednesday, and I am training them for the first time today (yesterday). Naturally some of them will feel the effect of playing in the Asian Champions Trophy and playing an open game will be suicidal,” said KLHC coach R. Vivekanandan.
Tenaga have the best defense in the country, as No 1 goalkeeper S. Kumar, Amin Rahim, Baljit Singh and Madzli Ikmar are on their side.
All four of them played a pivotal role in handing Malaysia bronze in Asian Champions Trophy in Ordos.
And in attack, they have young legs Azammi Adabi, Firhan Ashaari, Amir Farid and Faizal Saari.
as for KLHC have experience in national goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin, while for penalty corners they have established Razie Rahim.
It is in the midfield that KLHC holds the edge as they have virtually the national team set up with Nabil Fiqri, Shahrun Nabil and Shukri Mutalib.
The Charity Shield will indicate where the one-leg League heads, as both teams are front-runners for all three titles this season.
SATURDAY: Division One -- Uniten v Ipoh City Hall (Tun Razak 5pm), BJSS v UNIMAP (Education Ministry, 8pm).
Premier League -- (Charity Shield): KL Hockey Club v Tenaga Nasional (National Hockey Stadium, 8pm).
SUNDAY: Division One -- SSTMI-Thunderbolt v Uniten (Education Ministry, 5pm), Ipoh City Hall v BJSS (Azlan Shah Stadium, 5pm).
Premier League: Armed Forces Airod v Sapura (National Stadium, 4pm), Uitm v UniKL (National Stadium, 6pm), Nur Insafi Penang v Yayasan Negri Sembilan (National Stadium, 8pm).

Monday, September 12, 2011

Double internationals Peter and Joseph no more..


TWO double internationals from Negri Sembilan, M. Joseph, 77, and Peter van Huizen, 75, passed away leaving a proud legacy.
Peter died on Sunday, while Joseph yesterday morning.
Both are a rare breed who played hockey and soccer for the country, something which the present batch of sportsmen can’t even come close to.
Peter only started playing hockey when he was 20 years old, by chance, as he happened to be at the Negri Sembilan padang, and was invited to play for the Negri Sembilan Ceylonese Association (NSCA).
He went on to become a pillar between the posts in hockey and was as among the 18 young men who represented Malaysia at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, and then the 1958 Asian Games in Tokyo.
Peter was even voted as the world’s Best Goalkeeper in 1956.
He played soccer for Negri Sembilan Indians Association (NSIA) and Seremban Rangers, the Negri state team in 1952 and represented Malaysia at the 1959 SEAP Games in Bangkok.
Peter then started coaching Seremban Municipal Council in 1985 and and among the goalkeepers he spotted and trained were Hamdan Hamzah who played for the National Juniors in 1989, Osbert Pinto (a winger turned goalkeeper and recent former international and goalkeepers coach Nasihin Nubli.
Back in the good old days, players had to pay their own airfares, and even though Peter was selected for the 1960 Olympics in Rome, could not afford to travel to because he had just got married and was cash strapped.
And M. Joseph was also made of the same stuff, as he represented the country in hockey as well as soccer.
He played soccer for Malaya from 1947 to 1953, while in hockey, he played in the 1958 Tokyo Asian Games and then in the 1962 Jakarta Asian Games.
And after he retired, Joseph or fondly called one eyed Jo, started coaching in the early 1980s .
He coached the state side, which had the likes of G. Torairaju, Tony Chia and Zainuddin Hussein.
He kept himself active he played in the NS League for NSCA as well as the state veterans squad.
One of those who Joseph coached was former national coach B. Sathianathan, who was playing in the Baradhan Cup then.
Negri Sembilan HA secretary P. Tamilselvan said they were the pride of the state.
“Both of them were pillars in society, as well as sports and it is a great loss to the state.”

India lifts Asian Champions Trophy

ORDOS (China): Goalkeeper S Sreejesh stole the limelight with two crucial saves as India defeated arch-rivals Pakistan 4-2 via penalty shootout in a nerve-wrecking final to clinch the inaugural Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament on Sunday.
The high-voltage summit clash was marred by Pakistan coach's unwarranted action of constantly abusing Indian players from the roof of the stadium. Whenever there was an infringement from the Indian side, he used the 'F' word liberally. And whenever the umpires blew against India, he hollered 'Thank You'.
Rajpal Singh, Danish Mujtaba, Yuvraj Walmiki and Sarvanjit Singh scored for India in the penalty shootout while Muhammad Rizwan and Waseem Ahmed sounded the board for Pakistan after both the sides were locked goalless in the normal and extra time.
India started the shootout on a wrong note when Pakistan goalkeeper Imran Shah saved the shot from Gurwinder Singh Chandi. Sreejesh then came to the fore with a save off Haseem Abdul Khan. It was then Mujtaba's turn and he neatly sent the ball past Shah to give India 1-0 lead.
Pakistan equalised when Rizwan scored but Indian captain Rajpal slotted the ball home to give his side 2-1 up. Then came the crucial save by Sreejesh as he stopped Shafqat Rasool from scoring, advancing and taking the shot on the pads.
Yuvraj made it 3-1 and the Pakistan veteran Waseem cut the scores to 3-2 but Sarvanjit's conversion past Shah ensured India ran out champions.
Earlier in the match, both India and Pakistan had ample opportunities to finish off the match in regulation time. Pakistan earned seven penalty corners to India's one but they failed to beat the Indian defence and the goalkeeper Sreejesh.
Asian Games champions Pakistan were initially more attacking pushing the Indian defence back. Shakeel Abassi made some fine runs into the Indian striking circle but V Raghunath stood out with his tackling and clearances.
The Indian forwards had a couple of counter-attacks which the Pakistan defence managed to clear. It was a tense match with a few skirmishes between the players. SV Sunil was the first to be shown the green card for a rough tackle.
Pakistan had their first penalty corner in the 14th minute which Sreejesh charged out and saved. India was losing the ball consistently in the midfield. The players were hasty and failed to keep the ball to ensure the passes went right.
In the 29th minute, India had their first penalty corner but Ignace Tirkey failed to trap properly and thus wasting the opportunity.
Pakistan had a bunch of penalty corners in the second half and they were to blame themselves for letting the match drift to the shoot-out. They could not score off the 41st, 47th and 48th minute penalty corners.
With 14 minutes of regulation time left, India got a golden chance with Mujtaba having only Pakistan goalkeeper in front but could not place the ball in and shot wide. In the 60th and 62nd minutes, Pakistan again wasted three penalty corners.
India could have clinched the issue in the 65th minute but Yuvraj shot out from a handshaking distance.
After a tense struggle in 15 minutes of extra time, it finally came down to the shootout in which Sreejesh carried his good form and ensured India return champions.
Indian coach Michael Nobbs was almost in tears and said, "This is a great win. Both teams played well and had enough chances. But it is fantastic to see a young Indian side win such a prestigious tournament."

The Times of India

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Malaysia beat Japan for bronze

FIRHAN (third from left) being mobbed my Malaysian players after he scored the winner against Japan.

RESULTS: Fifth-Sixth: South Korea 2 China 1; Third- Fourth: Malaysia 1 Japan 0; Final: India 0 Pakistan 0 (India win 4-2 on penaltyshootout).

EIGHTEEN-YEAR-OLD Firhan Ashaari delivered seven seconds from time to hand Malaysia a bronze medal in the Inaugural Asian Champions Trophy in Orods, Inner Mon golia, yesterday.
Malaysia, who beat Japan 3-2 on Friday in the pool match, were held at bay until the final minute when young Firhan surged forward to nail the bronze on a nerve wrecking 1-0 win as the Japanese dug in preparing for extra-time play.
The lad made his national debut in this year’s Azlan Shah Cup, where he earned his first six caps and has proven to be a great catch.
Terengganu-born forward Firhan, who turned 18 on March 9 scored Malaysia’s second medal at the Asian level, after the Asian Games silver.
“I would say the match was won on determination, as the players badly wanted to win a medal in the inaugural tournament,” said Malaysian team manager Stephen van Huizen.
The first half was cautious as both teams did not want to make early mistakes, but in the second Malaysia pressed hard but still could not break the duck.
“At the back, even though Baljit Singh was carrying an injury, he was the man of our defense and this frustrated the Japanese.
“The clock showed 40 seconds when we won a free-hit at the Japanese 25-yard, and instead of making a direct attempt, a back pass was made to Amin Rahim, who in turn passed to Razie Rahim.
“Razie slammed the ball into the Japanese semi-circle and the ball was picked up by Firhan, who in turn took a reverse stick grounder which went crashing into the board with seven seconds remaining,” van Huizen described the match winner.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Young brigade to the fore

INDIA and Pakistan will play in the final of the Asian Champions Trophy in Orods.

THE national hockey team is getting younger, and finally, boys are seriously challenging positions held by seniors and experienced players.
The healthy competition has resulted in chief coach Tai Beng Hai having a bigger pool to select from, and not just rely on those with a good history in the sport.
The eldest in the squad is goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin at 33, while there are a smattering of 18 and 20-year-olds who are already making their moves.
Beng Hai took a big gamble by blooding Project 2013 players Fitri Saari, 18, and Amir Farid, 20, but it paid off handsomely in the Asian Champions Trophy in Orods.
Amir scored against Pakistan, and then his brace against Japan helped Malaysia to reach within grasp of a bronze medal in the inaugural tournament.
“Since the tournament did not offer ranking points, and some of the other teams had also left out their best players for various reasons, I felt that it was a good opportunity to try out new players.
“This also gave seniors who were injured, had personal reasons to skip the tournament, and those who are fighting to keep fit more time to overcome their problems,” said Beng Hai.
Team manager Stephen van Huizen, a former national player and coach, is also impressed with the commitment shown by youth in the squad.
“It was a good decision to allow youth to play in this tournament as some of them started quite shaky, but their confidence level grew quite fast and credit also goes to them for working well with the seniors to take the team into the bronze playoff,” said van Huizen.
Players like Firhan Ashaari, 18, and Faizal Saari, 20, have almost mastered attacking hockey and this will help Malaysia’s cause to finish among the top-four in the South Africa Champions Challenge Nov 26-Dec 4 .
And then, there is the Olympics Qualifier next year, where Malaysia will be fighting for the single ticket to London 2012, probably in the European continent group.
Today, they face Japan again and after narrowly edging them 3-2 in the pool match on Friday, it is expected to be another close call as Japan are one of the hosts for the three Olympic Qualifiers.
“Japan, under their new Korean coach Kang Keong-Wook (who captained Korea to silver medal in the Sydney 2000 Olympics) has shown tremendous improvement in this tour nament.
“However, we have the team to win bronze, and that is what we will aim for,” said van Huizen.
India and Pakistan will play for the gold medal, and after a 2-2 draw in the pool match, it looks like it is going to be another exciting Asian hockey on display in Ordos.
TODAY: Fifth-Sixth: South Korea v China; Third-Fourth: Malaysia v Japan; Final: India v Pakistan.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Malaysia 3 Japan 2

By Jugjet Singh

MALAYSIA woke up from being two goals down to beat Japan 3-2 and will now play for the bronze medal in the Asian Champions Trophy in Ordos.
India and Pakistan, who drew 2-2 yesterday, will play for the gold while South Korea and China will try to avoid the sixth spot.
It was an amazing comeback, as a win for Japan would see them play in the final and at half-time, the Rising Sun were 2-0 up and looking dangerous.
However, Malaysia threw caution to the wind after the breather and two junior players delivered three scintillating goals.
Project 2013 player Amir Farid scored a brace while Faizal Saari delivered the winner.
Faizal dribbled three defenders before making a pass for Amir to score the first, while his own goal was a solo when he sliced past three defenders and sent home a reverse stick shot.
“When South Korea drew 1-1 with China in the earlier match, we only had to beat Japan and there was no more a goal margin to chase.
“This, to a certain extent got the players too excited and they were not their usual self in the first half,” said team manager Stephen van Huizen.
But a pep talk during the breather changed matters: “We told them to go out end enjoy themselves with attacking hockey as there was nothing to lose.
“And now we will have another re-match with Japan on Sunday.”
In the first match of the day, unbeaten India dominated the barren first half but conceded two goals in two minutes to trail 0-2 by the 42nd minute only to come from behind to draw the match under chilly and windy conditions.
RESULTS: India 2 Pakistan 2, South Korea 1 China 1, Japan 2 Malaysia 3.

PAKISTAN 5 3 1 1 13 10 10
INDIA 5 2 3 0 15 8 9
JAPAN 5 2 1 2 11 9 7
MALAYSIA 5 2 1 2 14 13 7
S KOREA 5 2 1 2 13 14 7
CHINA 5 0 1 4 5 17 1

TOMORROW: Fifth-Sixth: South Korea v China; Third-Fourth: Malaysia v Japan; Final: India v Pakistan.