Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Likely cheers, than tears against India...

THE Malaysian hockey team will be battling for either cheers or tears when they square off against India in the quarter-finals of the Champions Challenge I in Johannesburg, South Africa, today.
After a pathetic show in Group B, where Malaysia lost 3-1 to Canada, drew 2-2 with Japan and were smashed 5-2 by Argentina, the tournament fixtures were still kind enough to give the national players their last life-line.
If they win, a place among the top-four await them, and a defeat will see them struggling in the fifth-eight bracket.
India have been in smashing form in this tournament, and scored a total of 17 goals in their 3-3 draw against Belgium, and 7-4 and 7-0 wins against South Africa and Poland respectively.
However, in the last two meetings, Malaysia have a good record against India. The national players beat India 4-3 in the semi-finals of the Asian Games, and drew 2-2 in the Asian Champions Trophy in Ordos.
But the national players form in three matches in South Africa is cause to worry, as they played a game of contrasting halves in all three matches.
Even Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah is perplexed with their drastic drop in form.
"Our performance so far has been below par. The team is capable of playing much better hockey.
"After watching the team play, I noticed that there are some weak links. I did not want to highlight this issue but I have spoken to the coach and he will address this issues.
"On the issue of consistency, the coach will have a look into it seriously as the Olympic Qualifier is in March and we have the Azlan Shah Cup in February. The team management is aware of these issue and they have three months to rectify them before the Qualifier," said Tengku Abdullah.
Malaysia have shown previously that they are made of better stuff, and a win against India is just the tonic they need to re-assure their fans that they are capable of snatching the Qualifier gold medal.


P W D L F A Pts
India 3 2 1 0 17 7 7
Belgium 3 2 1 0 12 7 7
S Africa 3 1 0 2 8 10 3
Poland 3 0 0 3 4 17 0

P W D L F A Pts
Argentina 3 2 1 0 10 6 7
Japan 3 1 2 0 6 5 5
Canada 3 1 0 2 6 6 3
Malaysia 3 0 1 2 5 10 1

THURSDAY: Quarter-finals: Belgium v Canada (4pm), Argentina v Poland (6.30pm), India v Malaysia (9pm), Japan v South Africa (11.30pm).
All Malaysia time.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Argentina hammer Malaysia 5-2

MALAYSIA again played a game of two halves, and they were duly hammered 5-2 by Argentina in their last Group B match of the Champions Challenge I in South Africa yesterday.
This time, they played a super game in the first 35 minutes to take a 1-0 lead, but fell asleep in the second half and let in five simple goals to give Argentina the top spot in the group, while Malaysia ended last.
Coach Tai Beng Hai's men will now either play India, Belgium or South Africa in the quarter-finals on Thursday.
Malaysia played better than their opening two games, but only for 35 minutes, as there was more urgency upfront, than defending in their own circle.
The combination of Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Hafifi Hafiz and Faizal Saari upfront troubled the Argentina goalkeeper, but Malaysia only had one goal to show at the half-time buzzer.
And that goal was scored by attacking midfielder Azlan Misron in the 15th minute off a goalmouth melee.
Malaysia had five penalty corners in the first half, but failed to score as they relied on direct flicks from Amin Rahim.
Argentina had 10 shots at goal, but goalkeeper S. Kumar made sure none went in.
After the breather, Hafifi could have made it 2-0 in the 38th minute, but after receiving a brilliant pass from Faizal, he slammed the ball straight into the Argentina goalkeeper Juan Vivaldi's pads.
However, a minute's lack in concentration saw Argentina win a penalty corner in the 44th minute, and this time, Pedro Ibarra makes no mistake and rattles the back board for the equaliser.
Argentina then took control of the match and scored at will off Manuel Brunet in the 52nd, Rodrigo Vila in the 53rd, and Manuel Brunet again in the 58th.
Amin Rahim closed the gap to 2-4 with a 64th minute penalty corner attempt, but just seconds from the full-time buzzer, Argentina scored their fifth goal off Pedro Ibarra.
Malaysia ended last in Group B, and will now play the champions of Group A in the quarter-finals on Thursday.
RESULTS: Group B: Canada 1 Japan 2, Malaysia 2 Argentina 5.


P W D L F A Pts
Belgium 2 1 1 0 10 6 4
India 2 1 1 0 10 7 4
SAfrica 2 1 0 1 7 8 3
Poland 2 0 0 2 4 10 0


P W D L F A Pts
Argentina 3 2 1 0 10 6 7
Japan 3 1 2 0 6 5 5
Canada 3 1 0 2 6 6 3
Malaysia 3 0 1 2 5 10 1

Monday, November 28, 2011

Kuala Lumpur champions again

KUALA Lumpur lifted their fourth consecutive Boys National Under-14 title when they hammered Terengganu 6-2 at the KLHA Stadium yesterday.
The tournament was incepted in 2006, and Perak won the first two titles. But after that, KL took charge from 2008 onwards until yesterday.
For the record, the previous five editions were KL-Perak finals.
Terengganu started on a super note when their skipper Luqman Nul Haqim scored a spectacular top-of-the-net field goal in the sixth minute itself, but that was as far as they went.
Kuala Lumpur made a strong comeback after that stunner and scored off three consecutive penalty corners and a field goal to take a comfortable 4-1 lead into the breather.
The equaliser was nailed by Khairul Amirin in the 10th minute, and then he gave KL the lead in the 21st minute.
Shahfirul Aqmal made it 3-1 in the 25th minute, and KL made it count in the final second of the first half when Ameer Mohamed scored a field goal.
After the breather, Wan Haziq Hisyamuddin doused any hopes of a Terengganu fight-back with a field goal in the 38th minute, and Shahfirul Aqmal made it 6-1 off a field attempt in the 51st minute.
Terengganu's second goal was scored by Amirul Mirza in the 52nd minute, but by then, KL had already sealed the title.
"It was a shaky start, but credit to my players who never gave up after letting in an early goal and fought gallantly to claim an emphatic victory," said KL coach Nishel Kumar, a former national player who made his coaching debut.
In the bronze play-off, Perak came back from behind to beat a tired looking Kelantan side. Kelantan score off Khairul Asyraff in the eighth minute, and held onto the lead but gave up in the last 10 minutes of the match.
Luqman Hakim scored the equaliser for Perak in the 60th minute off a penalty corner attempt, and the medal winner was delivered by Najme Ahmad in a 68th minute penalty stroke.
RESULTS: Final -- Kuala Lumpur 6 Terengganu 2; Third-Fourth: Perak 2 Kelantan 1.


Fairplay: Perlis.
Player of the Tournament: Luqman Nul Hakim (Terengganu)
Best Goalkeeper: Amirul Abdul Halim (Perak).
Top Scorer: Luqman Nul Hakim (Terengganau) and Shahfirul Aqmal (Kuala Lumpur) -- both scored 12 goals.
Most Promising Player: Iskandar Fahmi Razali (Kelantan).

Mockery of a Goodwill Challenge

THE Champions Challenge I in South Africa is heading towards the history book as a mockery of a tournament, and suggestions have been put forward to change its name to Goodwill Challenge instead.
But at stake is an appearance in the Champions Trophy for the gold medallist, and that is no joke.
For how else can one explain the insignificance of the Group stages, as even if a team loses all three matches, they will still end up playing in the quarter-finals.
Malaysia lost to Canada 3-1, and drew 2-2 with Japan and their last match is against Argentina today.
And they can afford to fix their quarter-final match, as the champions in Group B play the last placed team in Group A, while the second placed team plays the third placed.
As it goes now, Malaysia have one point and a win against Argentina could see them placed in the second-third spot and they are likely to meet South Africa or Poland.
And if Malaysia want to play either India or Belgium in the quarter-finals, they should play to lose against Argentina today.
Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) secretary Maninderjit Singh feels the FIH should have a re-look at the tournament format in future.
"The FIH should have a re-look at the mode of competition because teams are taking it easy in the group stages and and all matches are being played at below par as there is no bearing, and all have qualified for the quarter-finals," said Maninderjit.
He also said teams can choose and pick their opponents: "It also makes it easier for teams to choose and pick their quarter-finals opponents by adjusting their points accordingly.
"This does not reflect the name of the tournament, and it is now a Goodwill Challenge, as it all boils down to one quarter-finals match which would decide if a team finishes among the top-four, or bottom four of the tournament," lamented Maninderjit.
And reading from the two games Malaysia have played, it looks like coach Tai Beng Hai has placed all his eggs in one basket, and it could see Malaysia play India in the quarter-finals, provided we lose against Argentina today.
India should beat Poland and top the group, as the Belgium-South Africa match is more balanced -- if teams play to their true strength, and not try and fix their quarter-final opponents.
TUESDAY: Group A: India v Poland (9pm), Belgium v South Africa (11pm).
Group B: Canada v Japan (5pm), Malaysia v Argentina (7pm).
NOTE: Malaysian time.


P W D L F A Pts
Belgium 2 1 1 0 10 6 4
India 2 1 1 0 10 7 4
SAfrica 2 1 0 1 7 8 3
Poland 2 0 0 2 4 10 0


P W D L F A Pts
Argentina 2 1 1 0 5 4 4
Canada 2 1 0 1 5 4 3
Japan 2 0 2 0 4 4 2
Malaysia 2 0 1 1 3 5 1

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Under-14: KL upset Perak

KUALA Lumpur upset the form-book when they beat Perak 3-2 in the semi-finals of the Boys National Under-14 tournament at the KLHA Stadium yesterday.
They will meet Terengganu, who edged Kelantan 3-2, in the final today.
KL’s charge into the final was a sweet surprise, as they depended on home talent, while the other finalist has a handful of players from the Bukit Jalil and Bandar Penawar Sports Schools.
The KL goals were scored by Fallah Hassan (28th) and Ameer Mohamed (42nd, 66th). And the Perak scorers were Najme Ahmad (first) and Mohamed Noor Adha (56th).
In the other semifinals, Terengganu skipper Luqman Nul Hakim, with 13 goals to his credit, gave his team the lead in the seventh minute, and Wan Mohamed Azlan made it 2-0 in the 18th minute.
However, a strike from Iskandar Fahmi in the 21st minute injected some hope in the Kelantan team, only to see Khairul Helmy making it 3-1 in favour of Terengganu.
The Kelantan players then made a concerted effort to take the match into extra time, but they could only score one goal off Mohamed Zulfazrin in the 51st minute.
Terengganu coach Shamsol Ismail attributed their campaign to team work.
“We only trained for one week because rain and flooding interrupted our sessions, but still I can see that the players have a good understanding and teamwork is the reason we are in the final,” said Shamsol.
With players from Bukit Jalil and Bandar Penawar Sports Schools as well as from SMK Padang Midin on their side, Terengganu are the favourites to lift the title today.
“We might be the favourites on paper, but I believe we are the underdogs as there was very little preparation put into this side. It all depends if our top goal-scorer and skipper (Luqman) and his mates recover from the gruelling semi-finals in time for the final tomorrow (today).”
RESULTS: Semi-finals -- Terengganu 3 Kelantan 2, Perak 2 Kuala Lumpur 3.
TODAY: Final -- Terengganu v Kuala Lumpur (7pm); Third-Fourth: Perak v Kelantan (5pm).

Champions Challenge: Malaysia 2 Japan 2

MALAYSIA played a game of two halves to hold Japan toa 2-2 draw in the Champions Challenge I at the Randburg Hockey Stadium in Johannesburg yesterday.
The national players lost 3-1 to Canada in the opening match, and will meet Argentina on Tuesday. However, the three Group B matches have no bearing as the eight-team tournament has a quarter-finals fixture.
Japan scored two goals in the first 10 minutes of the match when Hiroki Sakamoto (sixth) and Katsuyoshi Nagasawa (ninth) made sure with deft touches.
The national players looked like they forgot to check in basic skills and determination when they boarded the flight to South Africa and played like novices in the first 35 minutes.
But there was more effort put in into the second half, as Japan were forced to defend in the last 15 minutes of the match.
Malaysia’s fight back was started by Amin Rahim, who scored the solitary goal against Canada, when he pushed in a low flick to Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin to deflect in a 52nd minute penalty corner.
And then, Amin made sure with another powerful penalty corner flick in the 69th minute to give Malaysia their first point in the tournament.
Japan have two points in the tournament, as they drew their first match 2-2 against Argentina. The Japanese next play Canada on Tuesday.
RESULTS: Group B: Argentina 3 Canada 2, Malaysia 2 Japan 2.
TUESDAY: Group A: India v Poland (9pm), Belgium v South Africa (11pm).
Group B: Canada v Japan (5pm), Malaysia v Argentina (7pm).
NOTE: Malaysian time.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pahang lift first RNA Cup

PAHANG lifted the Fifth Raja Noora Ashikin Cup when they defeated Armed Forces 2-1 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
It was the first win for the East Coast side since the inception of the tournament in 2000, and it was a hard-fought one in a steady drizzle.
Pahang took the lead off Fazzilla Slvester Silin in the eighth minuet, but Armed Forces refused to give up and equalised off Nadia Abdul Rahman in the 25th minute.
But they were not to be denied their glory, when Fazzilla nailed the winner for them 52nd minute.
In the bronze fight. Police beat KL Sukma 5-3, but the score does not tell the whole story as they had to come back from two goals down before winning.
The young KL side took the lead in the third minute off their skipper Nor Azlin Sumantri, but Police drew level in the seventh minute off Aida Fazriniza.
But KL Sukma then took control of the match to score two goals off Nur Farah Shahira (8th) and Fathih Hasni giving them a 3-1 lead.
Police fought back to reduce the deficit in the 39th minute through Aida and the inexperience begin to tell as KL Sukma wilted under pressure.
Che Inan Melati Ibrahim leveled the scores in the 56th minute and Angela Kais (68th) and Norhafizah Razali’s made sure the third spot.
RESULTS: Final -- Pahang 2 Armed Forces 1; Third-Fourth: KL Sukma 3 Police 5.
KUALA Lumpur reached the semi-finals of the National Under-14 in style when they hammered Malacca 5-0 at the Kuala Lumpur HA Stadium yesterday.
The win gave them the second spot in Group A on 10 points, and they will play Perak in the lest four today.
The other semi-finals will be between tournament favourites Terengganu and Kelantan.
RESULTS: Group A -- Kuala Lumpur 5 Malacca 0, Negri Sembilan 2 Perlis 3, Johor 3 Terengganu 6.
Group B: Selangor 5 Sabah 0, Kedah 2 Penang 5, Kelantan 2 Pahang 1.
TODAY: Semi-finals -- Terengganu v Kelantan (5pm), Perak v Kuala Lumpur (7pm).

Champions Challenge: Malaysia 1 Canada 3

South Africa celebrates a win at home in Johannesburg against Poland
(Photo: Duif Du Toit, Gallo Images)

MALAYSIA looked like they were on a safari holiday in South Africa when they went down meekly 3-1 to Canada in the Champions Challenge I at the Randburg Hockey Stadium yesterday.
And their lacklustre attitude could be because the first three group matches in the eight-team tournament does not matter at all, since the International Hockey Federation (FIH) drew a quarter-finals fixture for the Challenge.
All eight teams are already assured of playing in the last eight, and that could back-fire by lowering the standard of play in the group stages.
Team manager George Koshy summed up the game as sloppy, and not up to the normal standard of his players.
“It was a sloppy show from Malaysia, and well below what they are capable off. They gave away the ball too easily, and made many unforced errors,” said Koshy.
And what could be the reason for that: “They failed to settle down quickly, and needed the whole of the first half to gather themselves.
“That gave Canada the confidence they needed to win. However, I believe we will perform much better in our next match against Japan today (tomorrow),” said Koshy.
Malaysian coach Tai Beng Hai opted for a defensive approach in the first half, and Canada made inroads at will but failed to score numerous sitters until they won their firs penalty corner and converted.
Malaysia then drew level off their first penalty corner minutes from the half-time, when Amin Rahim flicked home.
But that was the only brilliant moment for Malaysia, as Canada took control of the second half and scored two more field goals for full points.
Malaysia next play Japan today, and it could turn out to be another safari excursion for Beng Hai’s men.
RESULTS: Group B: Canada 3 Malaysia 1, Argentina 2 Japan 2; Group A: India 3 Belgium 3, South Africa 3 Poland 1.
TODAY: Group A: Belgium v Poland (9pm), South Africa v India (11pm).
Group B: Argentina v Canada (5pm), Malaysia v Japan (7pm).
TUESDAY: Group A: India v Poland (9pm), Belgium v South Africa (11pm).
Group B: Canada v Japan (5pm), Malaysia v Argentina (7pm).
NOTE: Malaysian time.

Friday, November 25, 2011

D-day for Kuala Lumpur

KELANTAN edged closer to the National Under-14 semi-finals when they whitewashed Sabah 8-1 in Group B at the Kuala Lumpur HA Stadium yesterday.
Perak, on the other hand, completed their fixtures by beating Kedah 2-0 and topping Group B without a blemish in six matches.
And with Terengganu having sealed the top spot in Group A, today will see a keen tussle for the second spot, as Kuala Lumpur, Johor and Negri Sembilan have a chance of playing in the semi-finals.
KL play Malacca first, and a win will seal their semis spot, but if they lose, Negri and Johor will get their chance next when they meet Perlis and Terengganu respectively.
RESULTS: Group B -- Kedah 0 Perak 2, Kelantan 8 Sabah 1, Pahang 0 Penang 2.
TODAY: Group A -- Kuala Lumpur v Malacca (3pm), Negri Sembilan v Perlis (5pm), Johor v Terengganu (7pm).
Group B: Selangor v Sabah (3pm), Kedah v Penang (5pm), Kelantan v Pahang (7pm).



P W D L F A Pts
TERENGGANU 4 4 0 0 25 4 12
K LUMPUR 4 2 1 1 18 4 7
JOHOR 4 2 1 1 8 6 7
N. SEMBILAN 4 2 0 2 7 9 6
MALACCA 4 1 0 3 11 15 3
PERLIS 4 0 0 4 2 33 0

P W D L F A Pts
PERAK 6 6 0 0 22 4 18
KELANTAN 5 3 1 1 17 9 10
SELANGOR 5 2 2 1 14 12 8
PENANG 5 2 1 2 14 7 7
PAHANG 5 2 0 3 8 12 6
SABAH 4 1 0 3 2 14 3
KEDAH 5 0 0 5 3 15 0

Dark and stormy before Challenge

MALAYSIA are assured of a quarter-finals slot in the eight-team Champions Challenge II starting today in South Africa, but that is not what they are there for.
Coach Tai Beng Hai is more interested in quality matches, to make his team stronger in the run-up to the Olympic Qualifier in Ireland.
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) drew a fixture which will see every team reach the quarter-finals, even if they lose all three group matches.
Malaysia open accounts against Canada today, followed by Japan tomorrow and Argentina on Monday.
“Winning all three matches in the group stages will be meaningless if we fail to win in the quarter-finals and end up playing in the fifth-eight bracket.
“That is why this tournament is unique, and offers teams a chance to prove themselves in one crucial match,” said team manager George Koshy.
But having said that, Koshy is more interested in the qualify field assembled in South Africa.
“We are more interested in playing against quality sides in the run up to the Olympic Qualifier, and with the best 18 selected for this assignment, we will play to achieve our target of being in the top-five bracket,” said Koshy.
Torrential rain has hit South Africa in the last few days, and Malaysia’s friendly against South Africa was rained off after 15 minutes and the score stood at 1-1. Firhan Ashaari, 18-years-old, scored for Malaysia.
“All friendly matches were hit by rain and pitch flooding, but that is not a problem as we came prepared,” said Koshy.
MALAYSIA: S. Kumar (gk), Roslan Jamaluddin (gk), Izzat Rahim, Azammi Adabi, Amin Rahim, Marhan Jalil, Izwan Firdaus, Madzli Ikmar, Faizal Saari, Shahrun Nabil, Sukri Mutalib, Firhan Ashari, Azlan Misron, Razie Rahim (Capt), Hafifi Hafiz Hanafi, Baljit Singh, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Azreen Rizal.
Coach: Tai Beng Hai; Team Manager: George Koshy.
TODAY: Group A: India v Belgium (9pm), South Africa v Poland (11pm).
Group B: Canada v Malaysia (5pm), Argentina v Japan (7pm).
TOMORROW: Group A: Belgium v Poland (9pm), South Africa v India (11pm).
Group B: Argentina v Canada (5pm), Malaysia v Japan (7pm).
MONDAY: Group A: India v Poland (9pm), Belgium v South Africa (11pm).
Group B: Canada v Japan (5pm), Malaysia v Argentina (7pm).
NOTE: Malaysian time.

Pahang and Armed Forces final

PAHANG will meet Armed Forces in the final of the Fifth Raja Noora Ashikin Cup at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil today.
In the semi-finals yesterday, Pahang breezed past Police 4-0, while Armed Forces beat KL Sukma 4-1.
It will be Pahang’s first appearance in the final of the RNA Cup since its inception in 2000, and their best finish was third in 2005.
And in the Group stages, Pahang could only beat Armed Forces 1-0, indicating that even though they have seven national players, it is going to be a close encounter.
Police gave Pahang a tough time in the first 35 minutes: “We knew it was a matter of time before our strikers crash their defence and being patient paid off handsomely,” said Pahang coach C. Sreedharan.
Pahang got their break in the second half with goals from Fazilla Slvester Silin (46th), Nuraini Abdul Rashid (53rd, 69th) and Nor Hasliza Ali (65th).
The Armed Forces goals were scored by Nadia Abdul Rahman (25th, 55th), Siti Rodiah Tumin (34th), Izzuin Ismail (43rd). The KL Sukma goal was scored by Zhulaili Zakaria in the 65th minute.
RESULTS -- Semi-finals: Pahang 4 Police 0, Armed Forces 4 KL Sukma 1.
TODAY: Final -- Pahang v Armed Forces (6.30pm, Live on Astro Arena CH801); Third-Fourth: KL Sukma v Police (4pm).

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Perak and Terengganu in semis

PERAK and Terengganu cruised into the semi-finals of the National Under-14 tournament with one match in hand each at the Kuala Lumpur HA Stadium yesterday.
Perak, in Group B, brushed aside Pahang 4-0 while Group A favourites Terengganu subdued a fighting Kuala Lumpur 3-1 yesterday.
Perak have 15 points after five matches, and no challengers to topple them from the top. While Terengganu have 12 points and top the Group A table.
Both the teams have one match in hand, with Perak playing Kedah, and Terengganu playing Johor to complete their Group fixtures.
Terengganu held off brilliantly an early onslaught from KL, before their slkipper Luqman Nul Haqim scored in the 31st and 49th minutes, while the third was scored by Khairul Helmy.
The late KL fightback only resulted in Shahfirul Aqmal finding the target in the 62nd minute, but it was too late an effort.
As for Perak, their four goals were scored by Fuad Zaquan (first), Johari Sani (63rd, 69th), HAfis Khodori (66th).
"To be frank, I have yet to watch Terengganu play as we were concentrating more on Kuala Lumpur as our main challengers in this tournament," said Perak team manager Zakaria Yaacob.
Terengganu have a secret weapon in pint-sized 13-year-old striker Wan Mohamed Azlan, who barely stands above his hockey stick.
"His strength is to find an opening and make a pass, which normally results in a goal or a penalty corner for us.
"He is an intelligent player, and against KL, he won the penalty corner which gave us the first goal to kill off KL's fight early," said Terengganu team manager Nik Mohamed Azuan.
RESULTS: Group A -- Malacca 7 Perlis 0, Terengganu 3 Kuala Lumpur 1, Negri Sembilan 2 Johor 1; Group B: Kelantan 2 Selangor 2, Pahang 0 Perak 4, Penang 7 Sabah 0.
TODAY: Group B -- Kedah v Perak (3.30pm), Kelantan v Sabah (5.30pm), Pahang v Penang (7.30pm).



P W D L F A Pts
TERENGGANU 4 4 0 0 25 4 12
K LUMPUR 4 2 1 1 18 4 7
JOHOR 4 2 1 1 8 6 7
N. SEMBILAN 4 2 0 2 7 9 6
MALACCA 4 1 0 3 11 15 3
PERLIS 4 0 0 4 2 33 0

P W D L F A Pts
PERAK 5 5 0 0 20 4 15
SELANGOR 5 2 2 1 14 12 8
KELANTAN 4 2 1 1 9 8 7
PAHANG 4 2 0 2 8 10 6
PENANG 4 1 1 2 12 7 4
SABAH 4 1 0 3 2 14 3
KEDAH 4 0 0 4 3 13 0

KL Sukma in semi-finals

KUALA Lumpur Sukma and Armed Forces qualified for the semi-finals of the Fifth Raja Noora Ashikin Cup in contrasting styles at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Armed Forces whipped the daylights out of SMK Puteri with an 11-0 whitewash, while a 2-2 draw against Singapore was enough for KL Sukma to play in the last four.
Armed Forces made it to the last four as the best placed runner-up in the three-group tournament.
Today, the Army girls will play KL Sukma, while Police will be looking to gun down favourites Pahang in the semi-finals.
KL Sukma took the lead in the 7th minute off Nor Azlin Sumantri, the younger sister of Project 2013 player Nor Izzat Sumantri.
However, Singapore drew level in the 18th minute through Li Min Toh but their joy ewas shortlived as KL Sukma went 2-1 ahead via skipper Fathih Hasni.
Singapore scored their second goal in the 50th minute off Sabrina Bahnu De Gofar, but could not find the winner that would have taken them into the semi-finals.
Police beat Perak 4-1 with goals from Angela Kais (11th), Nor Faznilah Abdullah 23rd), Aida Fazrina (48th, 57th). The Perak goal was scored by Nor Amalina Yang in the 16th minute.
RESULTS -- Group A: Johor 2 Seri Titiwangsa 0, Police 4 Perak 1;
Group B: Terengganu 2 Penang 1, SMK Puteri 0 Armed Forces 11; Group C:
Selangor 10 Setia Cougar 0, Singapore 2 KL Sukma 2.
TODAY -- Semi-finals: Police v Pahang (8am, Pitch I), Armed Forces v KL Sukma (8am, Pitch II).

Challenge and Trophy on LIVEFIH.TV

http://www.fih....THE forthcoming FIH Men’s Champions Challenge (Johannesburg, South Africa – 26th November – 4th December 2011) and Owen G Glenn FIH Champions Trophy (Auckland, New Zealand – 3-11 December 2011) will be live streamed.
LIVEFIH.TV will transmit all 48 matches from the two events, with three minute highlight videos being made available in the hours following the completion of each game.
As well as this, there will be a Video on Demand (VoD) service for the Semi Finals and Final of the Champions Challenge I, enabling subscribers to watch those particular matches in their entirety at any time they choose.
A limited number of On Demand matches will also be available in the latter stages of the Owen G Glenn FIH Champions Trophy.
The live streaming service will complement the extensive television coverage that both events will receive, giving people outside existing contracted broadcasting territories* the opportunity to see all of the action from these two FIH World Level competitions.
Hockey fans the world over will be delighted to gain access the world’s best hockey in all territories, via high-quality streaming or via FIH’s broadcast partners”, said FIH President Leandro Negre. “In addition, FIH is able to televise the men’s Champions Challenge for only the second time in its history, which will again bring televised hockey excitement to more countries participating in FIH events.”
LIVEFIH.TV was created by the Perform Group in partnership with the FIH.
It is an official online broadcaster for the hockey's world governing body, meaning that viewers can be confident of enjoying high quality streaming, reliable content and match commentary. More information about the service will soon be available at LIVEFIH.TV.

* Due to licensing and contractual restrictions, access to LIVEFIH.TV may be limited in some territories.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

First ticket to Pahang

PAHANG sealed their semi-finals slot when they beat Terengganu 6-1 in Group B of the Fifth Raja Noora Ashikin at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday..
The win gave Pahang maximum 12 points from four matches and as a bonus they have a day off today before the semi-finals start on Friday.
Pahang got their goals off opened scoring in the Fazilla Slyvester Silin (fourth, 33rd), Norbini Hashim (17th, 59th), Nuraini Rashid (52nd, 55th).
The Terengganu goal was scored by Fatin Naimah in the 19th minute.
In another Group B match, Armed Forces showed their intentions when they whipped Penang 5-1. The Army Women had beaten Terengganu 2-0, and their only blemish in the tournament was a 1-0 loss to favourites Pahang.
Their last match today is against a weak SMK Puteri, and it looks like they are heading for a nine-point total in their group which could be enough to take them into the semi-finals.
The women's tournament has a unique format, where the top teams in three groups and also the best second placed-team advance into the semi-finals.
Yesterday, Armed Forces got their goals off Suzaba Yaacob (second), Izzuin Ismail (16th) Siti Rahmah (24th, 29th) and Juliani Din (52rd). Penang got their consolation off Nur Izwana Tajuddin in the 24th minute.
Meanwhile Police also registered their second win when they trashed Kedah 5-0 to throw the battle for the semis spot from Group A wide open.
They will battle it out against Perak and Johor to determine which team moves into the semis this Friday.
Perak beat Seri Titiwangsa 4-1 and have a total of 5 points, the same as Johor.
And while Perak and Police will be involved in a keen tussle with in the final group match today, Johor will have an easy task against Titiwangsa.

RESULTS: Group A -- Perak 4 Seri Titiwangsa 1, Police 5 Kedah 0;
Group B: Armed Forces 5 Penang 1, Pahang 6 Terengganu 1; Group C:
KL Sukma 3 Selangor 2, Malacca 5 Setia Couger 1.

TODAY: Group A: Perak v Police (7.30am, Pitch I), Johor v Titiwangsa (9.30am, Pitch II).
Group B: Penang v Terengganu (7.30am, Pitch II), SMK Puteri v Armed Forces (3pm, Pitch I).
Group C: Selangor v Setia Couger (9.30am, Pitch I), Singapore v KL Sukma (3pm, Pitch II).

Imogen mocks gag order

Isn't the tape supposed to be over your mouth? Imogen Thomas appears to mock her gagging order in a new shoot.She's been placed under a high court order banning her from divulging the lurid details about her relationship with Ryan Giggs.
But that hasn't stopped Imogen Thomas from making light of the whole situation in a new photoshoot.
Imogen, 28, appears in men's magazine Nuts this week where she poses almost nude apart from some strategically placed black tape.

Malaysia 1 South Africa 1

The South African men's hockey team's Pre-Champions Challenge warm-up match against Malaysia was called off after 15 minutes when a torrential downpour and lightning engulfed the Randburg Hockey Stadium last night. The score was 1-1 at that stage.
Malaysian goal was scored by Firhan Ashaari. They play India in the next match. ---

2013 Junior World Cup Quotas

The Continental quota for 2013 would be as follows:


1. Africa 2 2
2. Asia 4 3
3. Europe 6 6
4. Oceania 2 2
5. Pan America 2 3

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Singapore make their move

PAHANG whipped SMK Puteri 13-0 to move closer to the semi-finals of the Fifth Raja Noora Ashikin Cup at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
The third consecutive win has placed Pahang in a good position to top the table in Group B, which they are expected to seal today when they meet Terengganu.
In Group C, Singapore beat Malacca 1-0 to move to the top of the standings on seven points.
Singapore Skipper O Ming Fen converted a penalty corner in the 50th minute, and now they must beat KL Sukma in their final group match to qualify for the semis scheduled on Friday.
As for Pahang, Nuraini Abdul Rashid was in her element as she scored six out of the 13 goals.
Armed Forces put themsleves back on track for a semis spot from Group B when they beat Terengganu 2-0.
Meanwhile, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) yesterday announced that Asia will be alloted four men's and three women's slots for the 2013 Junior World Cup in India.
The men's Asian Qualifier will be held in Malacca in May, where India will also be playing. And if India qualify for the semi-finals, all four teams will play in the 2013 World Cup.
Malaysia are almost assured of a spot, after their super show in the Sultan of Johor Cup recently.
RESULTS: Grup A -- Seri Titiwangsa 0 Police 6, Johor 1 Kedah 1; Group B: Armed Forces 2 Terengganu 0, Pahang 13 SMK Puteri 0; Group C: KL Sukma 5 Setia Cougar 0, Singapore 1 Malacca 0.
TODAY: Group A: Perak v Titiwangsa (7.30am, Picth I), Kedah v Police (9.30am, Pitch II).
Group B: Penang v Armed Forces (7.30am, Pitch II), Pahang v Terengganu (3pm, Pitch I)
Group C: Selangor v KL Sukma (9.30am, Picth I), Malacca v Setia Cougar (3pm, Pitch II).

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pahang find their form

PAHANG whipped Penang 6-1 to strengthen their grip in Group B of the Fifth Raja Noora Ashikin Cup 2011 at the National Hockey Stadium yesterday.
The favourites, who have seven national players in their fold, started the tournament on a shaky note when they only edged Armed Forces 1-0, but showed their true form yesterday.
In another Group B match, Terengganu went on a scoring spree when they trashed SMK Puteri 10-0.
Also notching big scores were Johor who beat Police 5-2 in Group A, while Singapore beat Setia Cougar 5-0 in Group C.
Pahang Team Manager Benedict Arias said his charges were jittery in their first match, but are now looking forward to a top of the table finish in their group.
"My national players and the others failed to click well against Armed Forces, but are now more comfortable with each other and their form against Penang is what I am looking for in the remaining match," said Benedict.
The favourites play SMK Puteri today, where full points are assured for Pahang to keep their momentum.
Pahang got their goals off Noralina Ali (16th), Khadijah Atirah (22nd), Noorain Arshad (23rd), Norbini Hashim (23rd), Siti Shahidah Saad (40th) and Fazilla Slyvester Silin (44th). The Penang goal was scored by Noor Fariza Noor (21st).
Terengganu opened scoring in the fourth minute through Siti Sarah Halim. And eight minutes later she doubled the advantage for Terengganu.
Fatin Naimah got her hat-trick in the 13th, 19th and 33rd minutes to give the east coast side a commanding 5-0 lead at halftime.
Nur Aisyah Hashim (48th), Siti Sarah (53rd, 63rd)and Fatin (55th, 67th) completed the rout.
RESULTS: Group A -- Johor 5 Police 2, Kedah 2 Perak 2; Group B: Terengganu 10 SMK Puteri 0, Pahang 6 Penang 1; Group C: Singapore 5 Setia Cougar 0, Selangor 1 Malacca 0.
TUESDAY: Group A: Seri Titiwangsa v Police (7.30am, Pitch I), Johor v Kedah (9.30am, Pitch II); Group B: Armed Forces v Terengganu (7.30am, pItch II), SMK Puteri v Pahang (3pm, pitch I); Group C: KL Sukma v Setia Cougar (9.30am, Pitch I), Singapore v Malacca (3pm, PItch II).

Group A
Kedah 2 1 1 0 8 3 4
Johor 2 1 1 0 7 4 4
Perak 2 0 2 0 4 4 2
Polica 1 0 0 1 2 5 0
Titiwangsa 1 0 0 1 1 6 0

Group B
Pahang 2 2 0 0 7 1 6
Tgganu 1 1 0 0 10 0 3
Penang 2 1 0 1 4 7 3
Forces 1 0 0 1 0 1 0
SMK Puteri 2 0 0 2 1 13 0

Group C
Singapore 2 1 1 0 7 2 4
Selangor 2 1 1 0 3 2 4
KL Sukma 1 1 0 0 1 0 3
Malacca 2 0 0 2 0 2 0
S. Cougar 1 0 0 1 0 5 0

Trying to make someone jealous?

Jennifer Lopez strips off with new man as she grinds up to Pitbull moments before he appears with her ex Marc Anthony...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Jittery start for Pahang

PAHANG, with seven national players, could only edge Armed Forces 1-0 in Group B of the Fifth Raja Noora Ashikin Cup at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
It was a jittery start for the tournament favourites, and only a penalty corner goal from Siti Shahidah Saad in the 13th minute separated both the teams.
Perak and Singapore also had bad starts in in Group A and Group C respectively as they each blew a two-goal lead to share points.
Perak ended up with a 2-2 draw against Johor, while Singapore were held 2-2 by Selangor.
Perak opened scoring in the third minute through Nor Hidayah Ahmad Bokhari, and they doubled their advantage in the seventh minute through a goal from Khairunajwa Khairuddin.
But Johor closed the gap in the next minute when captain Nur Amirah perfected a penalty corner, and then they nailed the equalsier off Hanis Nadiah Onn in the 69th minute.
Singapore raced ahead with goals from Ming Fen O (seventh) and Xinni Chua (47th) only to see a Selangor’s Ellya Shahirah score a brace in the 51st and 68th minutes.
RESULTS: Group A -- Perak 2 Johor 2, Titiwangsa 1 Kedah 6; Group B: Penang 3 SMK Puteri 1, Pahang 1 Armed Forces 0; Group C: Singapore 2 Selangor 2; KL Sukma 1 Malacca 0.

Champions Challenge I Fixtures

Participating Teams

Pool A Pool B
Belgium BEL Argentina ARG
India IND Canada CAN
Poland POL Japan JPN
South Africa RSA Malaysia MAS

Pool Standings

Pool AMore

Team Games Wins Draws Losses GF GA GD Points
Poland POL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa RSA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Belgium BEL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
India IND 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Pool BMore

Team Games Wins Draws Losses GF GA GD Points
Japan JPN 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina ARG 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Malaysia MAS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada CAN 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Schedule and Results

# Info Time Teams Score Status Match Sheet
November 26th, 2011
1 Pool B 11:00am Canada CAN - MAS Malaysia - Upcoming
2 Pool B 1:00pm Argentina ARG - JPN Japan - Upcoming
3 Pool A 3:00pm India IND - BEL Belgium - Upcoming
4 Pool A 5:00pm South Africa RSA - POL Poland - Upcoming
November 27th, 2011
5 Pool B 11:00am Argentina ARG - CAN Canada - Upcoming
6 Pool B 1:00pm Malaysia MAS - JPN Japan - Upcoming
7 Pool A 3:00pm Belgium BEL - POL Poland - Upcoming
8 Pool A 5:00pm South Africa RSA - IND India - Upcoming
November 29th, 2011
9 Pool B 11:00am Canada CAN - JPN Japan - Upcoming
10 Pool B 1:00pm Malaysia MAS - ARG Argentina - Upcoming
11 Pool A 3:00pm India IND - POL Poland - Upcoming
12 Pool A 5:00pm Belgium BEL - RSA South Africa - Upcoming
December 1st, 2011
13 Quarters 10:00am 1st Pool A - 4th Pool B - Upcoming
14 Quarters 12:30pm 2nd Pool B - 3rd Pool A - Upcoming
15 Quarters 3:00pm 2nd Pool A - 3rd Pool B - Upcoming
16 Quarters 5:30pm 1st Pool B - 4th Pool A - Upcoming
December 2nd, 2011
17 5/8 2:30pm Loser #13 - Loser #14 - Upcoming
18 5/8 5:00pm Loser #15 - Loser #16 - Upcoming
December 3rd, 2011
19 SF 1:30pm Winner #13 - Winner #14 - Upcoming
20 SF 4:00pm Winner #15 - Winner #16 - Upcoming
December 4th, 2011
21 7/8 9:00am Loser #17 - Loser #18 - Upcoming
22 5/6 11:30am Winner #17 - Winner #18 - Upcoming
23 3/4 2:00pm Loser #19 - Loser #20 - Upcoming
24 1/2 4:30pm Winner #19 - Winner #20 - Upcoming

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Women's Cup returns after five years

Catch the Action at --

THE Fifth Edition of the Raja Noora Ashikin Cup will return after five years in the wilderness, and will see a record 15 teams in action at the National Hockey Stadium at Bukit Jalil from Sunday.

The women’s teams have been divided into three groups with the top teams of in each group advancing to the semi-finals.
The fourth semi-finalists will be picked from the best among the three second placed teams. This system was in introduced to make sure that teams take every match seriously.
The RNA Cup made its debut in 2000 and was held in 2003, 2005 and 2006 and will mark a return after a five year hiatus.
Singapore are the invited team, while the team to beat would be Pahang as they have seven national players. Perak and Johor also have strong sides.
The tournament used to offer prize money in the past: “We are looking into providing grants to the winning teams instead of prize money,” said Malaysian Hockey Confederation Deputy President Puan Sri Noorashikin Raja Abdullah.
“With so many teams in this edition, it will provide coaches a an opportunity to gauge the performance of the current national players as well as be on the lookout for emerging talent.”
The national women’s team are scheduled to play in the Sea Cup in December in Thailand, but the tournament still remains an uncertainty as the Asian Hockey Federation is currently monitoring the flood situation there.
The tournament will also give the women an added avenue to prepare for the 2012 London Olympics Qualifier on April 25-may 6, as they have been placed with hosts Japan, Azerbaijan, Chile, Belarus and Trinidad & Tobago.
RNA CUP -- Goup A: Perak, Johor, B. Titiwangsa, Kedah, Police; Group B: Penang, SMK Puteri, Armed Forces, Pahang, Terengganu; Group C: Selangor, Singapore, KL Sukma, Malacca, Setia Cougar.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Easy to fix quarter-final opponent

Fact 1: Eight teams in two groups of four each, but FIH approve a fixture with Quarter-finals.
Fact 2: Malaysia can afford to lose to Argentina, Japan and Canada in Group B but will still play in Quarter-finals.
Fact 3: The trick to the semi-finals is to choose and pick your Quarter-finals opponents, and if need be, drop a match or two in the Group stages, so that the crossover in the Quarter-finals will see your team play against a weaker opponent.
Fact 4: Group matches have been turned into warm-ups and teams will not play all out, to avoid injury and cards. If I was the Malaysian coach, I will rest some key players in the three Group matches to expose my substitutes.

AZLAN Misron returns to the fold, as coach Tai Beng Hai named his players to finish among the top-five in the Champions Challenge I in Johannesburg, South Africa on Nov 26-Dec 4.
Malaysia are in Group B with Argentina, Japan and Canada. In Group A are Poland, South Africa, Belgim and India.
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) have made the pool matches into a mockery, after they drew a quarter-finals fixture in an eight-team tournament.
It means, even if Malaysia lose all three matches against Argentina, Canada and Japan; they will still play in the quarter-finals.
And one win in the quarters will see them play in the semi-finals, and achieve their top-five target.
Azlan, a former skipper and 28-years-old, was left out of the Asian Champions Trophy in Ordos because a drop in form, but he fought back his spot in the national team after a good show in the Malaysia Hockey League.
Hafifi Hafiz Hanafi, who opted out of Ordos for personal reason, is also back.
The youngest player in Beng Hai's squad is 18-year-old Firhan Ashaari, who will receive a great exposure ahead of the Junior World Cup Qualifier in Malacca in May.
The other players eligible to play in the Junior Asia Cup is 20-year-old Faizal Saari.
Both the players were spared from playing in the Sultan Of Johor Cup, because the coach was afraid they would suffer from fatique.
MALAYSIA: S. Kumar (gk), Roslan Jamaluddin (gk), Izzat Rahim, Azammi Adabi, Amin Rahim, Marhan Jalil, Izwan Firdaus, Madzli Ikmar, Faizal Saari, Shahrun Nabil, Sukri Mutalib, Firhan Ashari, Azlan Misron, Razie Rahim (Capt), Hafifi Hafiz Hanafi, Baljit Singh, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Azreen Rizal.
Coach: Tai Beng Hai; Team Manager: George Koshy.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Malaysia have Korea for company

ITS official, Malaysia will play in Dublin, Ireland, for a ticket to the London Olympics and South Korea are the only higher ranked team in the group.
The Qualifier, to be held on March 11-18, will only offer one ticket to London, so Malaysia (ranked 14th) must beat world No 6 Korea, Ireland (17th), Russia (20th), Chile (24th) and Ukraine (31st).
The other men's Qualifiers will be held in India on Feb 15-26 and Japan on April 25-May 6.
India, ranked 10th, will have Canada (11th), France (18th), Poland (19th), Egypt (25th) and United States (26th).
While in Japan, ranked (15th), the other teams are Spain (four), China (16th), Austria (21st), Czech Republic (23rd) and Cuba (39th).
The Malaysian women's team (ranked 23rd), will play in the Japan Qualifier with the hosts (ninth), Azerbaijan (15th), Chile (17th), Belarus (22nd) and Trinidad & Tobago (35th).
The grouping was announced yesterday after the International Hockey Federation (FIH) held their Executive Board meeting in Lausanne over the weekend.
On the men’s side, the teams that are already qualified for the 2012 Games are Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa.
Nationl chief coach Tai Beng Hai said the Malaysian group will see a tough fight between Malaysia, Korea and Ireland for the single spot.
"But having said that, we must not be overly confident against the other lower ranked teams in our group, as all of them are also capable of playing good hockey.
"I believe at this stage, it does not matter which group we are in, but making the best of what we have in Dublin and since there is only one ticket, we will fight for it till the end," said Beng Hai.
Malaysia drew 2-2 with South Korea in the Group stages of the Asian Games, and are no longer pushovers.
"Our players have shown that they no longer fear playing the Koreans and this is a plus sign that must be duplicated in Dublin," said Beng Hai.
The Azlan Shah Cup will most probably held in February next year, and it will be the final tune-up before the biggest test for Beng Hai's charges in Dublin.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Malaysia to play in Ireland?

THE International Hockey Federation (FIH) have decided to stick to India as one of the Olympic Qualifier hosts in and executive board meeting in Lausanne yesterday.
India hockey have been embroiled in a power tussle between two bodies, and the FIH had earlier snatched the Champions Trophy from them and awarded it to New Zealand isntead.
And it was also reliably learnt that the other two hosts are Ireland and Japan.
The Malaysian team, going by their 14th ranking in the World, should play in the Ireland Qualifier which is also expected to have South Korea in it.
India's only hurdle in the Qualifier is likely to be Canada, while In the Japan leg, Spain will be the major powerhouse.
The FIH will make an official stand soon, but it was reported in the Hindustan Times: "The decision (to allow India to host) to this effect was conveyed to sports minister Ajay Maken by FIH president Leandro Negre on phone from Lausanne, Switzerland. The Olympic qualifiers are scheduled from February 15 next year."
The FIH also, said the Hindustan, will recognise Hockey India (HI) as the national federation for the sport, as rival bodies have gone to court to stake their claim.

Olympic Qualifier stays in India

Ending the suspense over India's future in international hockey, the game's world governing body FIH on Saturday decided to conduct the Olympic Qualifiers in India next year and continue to recognise Hockey India (HI) as the national federation for the sport. In a major decision, the
FIH's executive board in Lausanne unanimously decided to conduct the Olympic Qualifiers and other major hockey events in India, a move which is bound to come as a relief for hockey lovers.
The decision to this effect was conveyed to sports minister Ajay Maken by FIH president Leandro Negre on phone from Lausanne, Switzerland. The Olympic qualifiers are scheduled from February 15 next year.
Maken expressed satisfaction at the decision to conduct the Qualifiers and termed it as a “suitable and logical conclusion” to the efforts that were made by the ministry, HI and the FIH.
With time running out for India to save the hosting rights of next year's Qualifiers, FIH had summoned HI to present its case before the world body's executive council on Saturday.
Paying the price
India had already paid the price for the long-standing power tussle between HI and Indian Hockey Federation over the governance of the game, with the FIH taking away hosting rights of Champions Trophy.
The FIH had also warned that India could be banned from international hockey if the issue of governance was not sorted out. HI was represented in the Lausanne meeting by its secretary-general Narinder Batra and vice-president Rajeev Mehta.
The FIH had made it clear that it was not in favour of two bodies.

Malaysia good for more gold

MALAYSIA ripped the form-book apart when they became champions of the inaugural Sultan of Johor Cup without two of their best strikers, and are now looking to romp away with the Junior Asia Cup title in Malacca in May.
The Project 2013 players made do without Faizal Saari and Firhan Ashaari, both in training for the Champions Challenge I in South Africa -- but will have them for the Malacca tournament which doubles up as a Junior World Cup Qualifier.
And after snatching the gold from Australia in a thrilling match, the Project boys now are in demand.
"Australia, India and Pakistan have requested for five matches each, and I will have to plan a schedule to fit their requests in the run-up to the Junior Asia Cup," said Project 2013 coach K. Dharmaraj.
And how does he see his side with the inclusion of Faizal and Firhan?
"It will be a much stronger side to complement my first-11 because in Johor, we did not have depth in the bench and I had to use some of my strikers and defenders for 70 minutes in most of the matches," said Dharmaraj.
And what went right in Johor?
"Malaysia had always had exciting forwards but were told to perform midfield as well as defensive duties as we tend to hold back in matches.
"All I did was told my players to go ahead and play their game, and the strikers did their job, and the same went for the midfielders and defenders.
"There was no need to fall back too much and chase the ball, which in the end tend to tire the strikers who had to double up as defenders like in basketball," said Dharmaraj.
And the goalkeeping department, which was a thorn in the side during their Tours of Europe and Oceania?
"Both my goalkeepers (Hazrul Faiz and Hafizuddin Othman) were well below the standard of goalkeepers in teams which we played in Europe and Australia and New Zealand during our Tours.
"However, they learnt by watching those goalkeepers play and also, more emphasis was placed on them in the last month and it paid off handsomely."
Hazrul was even named as the Man-of-the-Match Final as well
Best Goalkeeeper of the Tournament, and that speaks for itself.
Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahamd Shah went into the pitch and hugged the boys after they beat mighty Australia, and it should be inspiration enough for them to win more gold medals in tournaments to come.

Roll of Honour
Champion: Malaysia
Runners-up: Australia
Third: South Korea
Fourth: India
Fifth: Pakistan
Sixth: New Zealand

Man-of-the-match (final): Hazrul Faiz (Malaysia)
Best player of tournament: Fitri Saari (Malaysia)
Best goalkeeper: Hazrul Faiz (Malaysia)
Top scorer: Noor Faeez Ibrahim (Malaysia) – seven goals.
Fairplay Trophy: New Zealand