Thursday, January 6, 2011

KLHC two down before start

KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) are slated to play easy matches this weekend, but the suspension of two players might just see them struggling in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).
KLHC will play bottom-of-the-table ATM-Airod today, and then Nur Insafi tomorrow.
But the League champions will sorely miss Nabil Fiqri, suspended for five matches, and Megat Azrafiq, who will sit out for two matches.
Both the players were read the riot act, after they were involved in a fracas which also involved Yayasan Negri Sembilan import Vivek Gupta from India. Vivek ws also suspended for two matches.
“I find the action of my players totally irresponsible because the match had ended but they still got themselves involve in a fracas. I do not condone such behaviour, which borders stupidity, and now the the club is the one which is going to suffer,” said KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj.
Suspensions were also meted out to six Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) students, after they assaulted five other stu dents, who are also hockey players, last month.
BJSS will now play with only 14 registered players in the match against Malacca in Division One.
“With only 16 players registered (instead of 18) we will be going for simple wins in both the matches this weekend. All we will be looking for is maximum six points, and even though we will be playing against a bottom-of-the-table side to morrow (today), it would be suicidal to underestimate them,” said Dharmaraj.
Charity Shield holders TNB, who beat KLHC 2-0 for the title, are sitting pretty at the top of the table and are highly likely to strengthen their grip when they square off against university sides UiTm and UniKL this weekend.


Kuala Lumpur HC v ATM-Airod (3.30pm), TNB v UiTM (5.15pm), Maybank v Nur Insafi (7pm), Sapura v UniKL (8.45pm).

Yayasan Negri Sembilanv UiTM (3pm), Kuala lumpur HC v Nur Insafi (4.45pm), TNB v UniKL (6.30pm, Live Ch 801), Maybank v Sapura (8.15pm, Live Ch 801).

*All matches at Azlan Shah Stadium, Ipoh


P W D L F A Pt
TNB 3 2 1 0 6 1 7
KLHC 3 2 0 1 12 7 6
NUR INSAFI 2 2 0 0 6 3 6
UNIKL-TRC 2 2 0 0 5 3 6
MAYBANK 3 1 1 1 4 5 4
SAPURA 3 1 0 2 11 11 3
YNS 3 1 0 2 8 9 3
UITM 2 0 0 2 2 5 0
ATM-AIROD 3 0 0 3 3 13 0


Bukit Jalil Sports School v Malacca CC (KLHA Stadium, 5pm), Bandar Penawar Sports School v Universiti Sains Malaysia (BPSS pitch, 5pm), ATM Jnrs v UniTen (Tun Razak Stadium, 5pm).

Ipoh CC v Bandar Penawar Sports School (Azlan Shah Stadium, 5pm), ATM Jnrs v Malacca CC (Tun Razak Stadium, 5pm), UniTen v Universiti Sains Malaysia (KLHA Stadium, 5pm).

P W D L F A Pt
IPOH CH 3 1 1 1 8 8 4
BJSS 2 1 0 1 6 3 3
BPSS 1 1 0 0 3 1 3
ATM JNR 1 1 0 0 2 1 3
MALACCA CC 2 1 0 1 3 3 3
USM 3 1 0 2 6 10 3
UNITEN 2 0 1 1 2 4 1

Nabil suspended 5 matches

By Ajitpal Singh

NATIONAL player Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor was handed a five-match suspension by the Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) technical committee yesterday for manhandling an opponent in a Premier Division match last weekend.
A fight broke out between three players, including Nabil Fiqri, in the match between the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) and Yayasan Negri Sembilan (YNS) after the final whistle.
Nabil, who was initially not involved in the scuffle, ran towards an YNS player and held his jersey after an argument broke out between his teammate Megat Azrafiq Megat Termizi and Vivek Gupta.
Megat, a former international and Vivek, who is India's junior international, were each slapped with a two-match suspension.
Technical committee chairman Hashim Yusof said Nabil was given a heavier punishment as his action could have provoked a bigger problem.
"We studied the reports submitted by the technical match official and the umpires. The three players were punished based on the match officials' reports and also local newspaper reports," said Hashim yesterday.
"We will notify the concerned teams tomorrow (today) and they can appeal within 14 days."
The absence of Nabil Fiqri will be a big blow to KLHC in their quest to retain their Premier Division title. He has been instrumental in KLHC's fine run last weekend.
Meanwhile, Division One side, Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) will field a weakened side in their encounter against Malacca Municipal Council (MMC) on Friday.
This is because six of their regulars have been suspended by the school authorities for assaulting five students, who are also hockey players, last month.
Police reports were lodged and though the matter was said to have been amicably resolved between the parents of the abusers and victims last week, there is still the matter of internal investigations.
And with the report only due next week, BJSS will not field the affected players against MMC.
BJSS, who are currently fourth in the standings, will have only 14 registered players for the match.

Amin brace takes TNB to the top

By Ajitpal Singh

AMIN Rahim’s brace helped Tenaga Nasional (TNB) earn a 3-0 victory over minnows ATM-Airod in a Premier Division match of the Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) at the Tun Razak Stadium yesterday.
Amin, a national player, struck in the 12th and 62nd minutes, both from penalty corners while the other goal was scored by M. Kaliswaran (61st).
Tenaga, who have collected seven points from three matches, lead the league standings by a point.
Coach Nor Saiful Zaini said his boys controlled the game and could have scored a big win.
“The Forces side made it difficult especially their goalkeeper Khairul Affendy Kamarulzaman, who made several good saves,” said Nor Saiful at the Tun Razak Stadium yesterday.
“We, however, knew Forces would crack in the closing stages and we pressed hard to score two goals in the last 10 minutes.”
At the Pantai Stadium, the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) defeated Yayasan Negri Sembilan (YNS) 6-3 in an exciting match which ended in a scuffle after the final whistle.
The defending champions have been devastating in the last two matches. On Friday, they hammered Sapura 6-2.
KLHC striker Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin said his team are eager to score big wins in the remaining matches as the league title, at the end of the season, could be decided on goal difference.
“We created many goal scoring chances today (yesterday) but failed to score and this is not good,” said Tengku Ahmad.
In the match, YNS opted to play their local keeper Hafizi Baharom in their line up instead of import T. Tarun and also were without two of their Pakistani imports, Muhammad Waqas and Muhammad Raashid.
Waqas failed to get a visa on time and will arrive today while Raashid is only expected to come on Thursday as his passport has run out of pages. And their absence was sorely felt.
“We made a bright start but failed to capitalise on it and paid the price. We missed the two players but that cannot be an excuse as we have players that can deliver,” said YNS coach Hasnizam Ah Sim.
KLHC scorers were Mohd Razie Rahim (eight, 24th, 65th), Tengku Ahmad (fifth), Ismail Abu (40th) and Chua Boon Huat (60th).
Prabhjot Singh (third, 29th) and Deepak Thakur (69th) reduced the deficit for YNS.
After the match, four players were involved in a brawl which lasted for several minutes but the umpire and team members managed to defuse the situation.
In another match, Maybank eased past UiTM 2-0 for their maiden league win this season.
Hafifihafiz Hanaif and Hairulnizam Rani scored the 33rd and 62nd minutes respectively.

Test for YNS foreign legion

By Ajitpal Singh

YAYASAN Negri Sembilan (YNS) are in for a torrid time when they face a confident looking Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) in a Premier Division match of the Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) at Pantai Stadium today.
YNS started their campaign impressively by overpowering Maybank 4-1 on Dec 18 before going down 2-1 to surprise package, Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL)-TRC on Friday.
The club, playing in their first season since 1999, hope to bounce back against KLHC, who are in a buoyant mood after hammering Sapura 6-2 in their last match.
YNS coach Hasnizam Al Sim said his boys need to play their best hockey to get the better of KLHC.
"They are one of the best sides in the Premier Division. It is going to be tough but we are prepared for the match," said Hasnizam yesterday.
YNS were without Pakistan signings -- Muhammad Imran, Muhammad Raashid and Muhammad Waqas Sharif when they lost to UniKL-TRC on Friday. The trio were representing their employers in the National Games in Pakistan.
Hasnizam said the three players are likely to return in time for the match against KLHC.
"Of course, our chances of a win would be bright if they play tomorrow (today)," he added.
Hasnizam was appointed as chief coach of YNS after India-born coach Madhu Karan failed to show up.
Meanwhile, ATM-Airod, who finished second in last year's Division One league, are likely to face defeat for the third successive time, when they play favourites Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) at the Tun Razak Stadium in Kuala Lumpur today.
ATM were hammered 7-2 by Sapura in their opening match on Dec 18, before losing 3-1 to Nur Insafi on Friday.
Coach K. Rajan said his team need to play consistent hockey to gain a desirable result today.
"We only played good hockey in the first half of our previous matches. Although, we dominated and led 1-0 against Nur Insafi, our defence cracked up in the second half," said Rajan.
"We need to learn to play hockey for 70 minutes. It is important that we do against a team like TNB as they have the ability to score many goals."
In other matches, Maybank, who drew 1-1 with TNB on Friday, face UiTM while Nur Insafi play Sapura.

Contenders set to break free

By Ajitpal Singh

THE Premier Division of the Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) resumes today after a two-week break with the top contenders hoping to consolidate their title aspirations.
All teams, except for last season's Division One champions UiTM and Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL)-TRC, will play two matches each this weekend.
Sapura, after hammering ATM-Airod 7-2 in the opening match on Dec 18, are full of confidence and they hope to extend their winning ways against last year's league champions the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) in a crucial encounter today and Nur Insafi on Sunday.
Coach I. Vikneswaran expects his team to be even better prepared for both matches.
"We defeated ATM convincingly despite not having the entire team training as a unit before the match. Our foreign signings only arrived a day before and despite the shortcoming, we won easily," said Vikneswaran.
"I managed to get everyone in training during the two-week break. The understanding among the players has improved tremendously since the first match. I expect them to be better in both matches."
Among the aces in the Sapura side are Pakistan's Rehan Butt, South Korea's Lim Woo Guen, S. Kuhan and the Mohan brothers, Jiwa and Jivan.
Vikneswaran's confidence over the team's expected display this weekend is bad news for KLHC, who cannot afford to drop points after going down 2-0 to Tenaga Nasional in their opening match.
KLHC will face Yayasan Negri Sembilan (YNS) on Sunday, in their second match of the weekend.
Coach K. Dharmaraj said his team players have been working hard in training to brush up their tactics.
"I have told my players that they must play to win as dropping points this weekend is not an option.
"Although, the league is only one match old, the competition is stiff and we must start winning again," he said.
UniKL-TRC, who are also title contenders, face a tricky encounter against YNS today.
Coach Darren Smith said his team must not allow YNS to dictate the flow of the game as they are a strong side.
"We need to pay special attention to Shakeel Abbasi as he showed in the match against Maybank that he can do the damage.
"Then there is Waqas (Sharif) who can also create scoring chances with Prabhjot (Singh) very nippy on the left flank.
"I was impressed with Muhamad Imran as he is deadly in penalty corners. Overall it will be tough against YNS as from what I saw, they have the best team in the MHL so far.
"A good mixture of top Pakistani and Indian players are no easy team to play against," said Smith.
As for Maybank, their coach, Wallace Tan, hopes his team will get back to their winning ways after going down tamely to YNS (4-1) on Dec 18.
Maybank face TNB today and UiTM on Sunday.
"TNB are the favourites as they have a team of good mixture of experienced and junior players. Our defence must not give away penalty corners cheaply as they have drag flick expert Amin Rahim in their side.
"We have learnt a lot from our defeat to YNS and spent the last two weeks improving our tackling as well as working on set pieces," he added.