Monday, March 7, 2011

YNS set date with champs KLHC

Maybank’s Mohammad Faisal Kamarudin (right) tries to get past Sapura’s Mohd Fadzli Anuar in their quarter-final match yesterday. — Picture by Mohd Yusni Ariffin

By Ajitpal Singh

YAYASAN Negri Sembilan (YNS) will face Premier Division champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) in the semi-finals of the Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) after a nerve-wrecking quarter-final second leg win over UniKL at the Tun Razak Stadium yesterday.
YNS had to work hard before defeating UniKL 5-3 to complete a 9-5 aggregate victory while KLHC brushed aside Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS) 15-3 for a 26-3 aggregate win.
UniKL had a great start to overturn their 4-2 first leg defeat when Ramadan Rosli sounded the board after six minutes.
But their joy was short-lived when Deepak Thakur drew level for YNS two minutes later. And against the run of play YNS skipper Shakeel Abbasi scored from a field attempt in the 28th minute.
Vivek Gupta (42nd) and Prabhjot Singh (44th) made it 4-1 before Deepak added his second of the match in the 49th minute.
Ramadhan got his second goal in the 58th minute to make it 5-2 before skipper S. Selavarju scored seven minutes from time to reduce the deficit to 5-3.
"We knew we could win this match even when UniKL scored the first goal of the match.
"My players played to instruction and kept their cool until the final whistle. This victory will definitely raise our confidence ahead of our semi-final clash against KLHC," said YNS coach Hasnizam Ah Sim at the Tun Razak Stadium yesterday.
KLHC's massive victory over BPSS, however, does not reflect well for the sports school, who had nine guest players in their squad.
The Kuala Lumpur-side were 8-1 up in the opening 35 minutes before adding seven goals in the second half for the overwhelming victory.
The other semi-final will pit defending champions Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) against Sapura.
TNB came back from the brink of defeat to beat Division One champions Armed Forces Juniors 5-4 yesterday to complete a 11-4 aggregate.
Armed Forces took a 4-2 lead at half-time before TNB scored their last three goals in the final 13 minutes of the match.
TNB goals came from M. Kaliswaran (seventh), Mahinder Singh (20th), Faizal Saari (57th and 62nd) and Muhd Azammi Adabi (69th).
The Forces side replied through Razali Hazemi (fifth) and Szuhairi Abd Aziz (28th and 32nd).
In another match, Lim Woo Geun scored a brace to help Sapura notch a 5-1 victory over Maybank to complete an 8-1 aggregate victory.
The South Korean defender sounded the board in the 21st and 53rd minutes. Izwan Firdaus (ninth), S. Kuhan (26th) and Mohd Rodhanizam Mat Radzi (57th) netted the other goals.
Maybank replied through Hairul Nizam Abdul Rahim's penalty corner set-piece in the 35th minute.

YNS edge UniKL in thriller

NS players celebrate after scoring their second goal against UniKL in the first leg quarter-final match yesterday. YNS won 4-2. — Picture by Hazreen Mohamad

By Ajitpal Singh

YAYASAN Negri Sembilan (YNS) turned on a splendid display to edge UniKL 4-2 in an exciting quarter-final first leg encounter of the Malaysian Hockey League at the Tun Razak Stadium yesterday.
UniKL were to blame for their defeat as they were hardly in the game in the opening 20 minutes and despite earning four penalty corners in the match, they could only score once from it.
However, credit to YNS goalkeeper Mohd Harfizi Baharom for his exceptional display to deny UniKL on several occasions.
Arvind opened accounts for YNS in the 16th minute before Deepak Thakur increased their tally in the 24th minute.
UniKL then woke up from their sleep and quickly reduced the deficit through Richard Patherick's penalty corner set-piece in the 33rd minute.
But all hopes of a comeback ended when YNS were awarded a penalty stroke when YNS' Mohd Zulhairi Hashim committed a foul on Deepak in the 39th minute.
Skipper Shakeel Abbasi made no mistake from the spot, putting the ball in the low left hand corner to give UniKL keeper Stephen Graham no chance before Deepak added YNS' fourth in the 69th minute.
But Phillip Stahr scored seconds before the hooter to reduce the deficit and perhaps give UniKL a fighting chance to overturn the deficit in the second leg tomorrow.
"It is always good to win the first leg and go into the second with a two-goal advantage. But it will not make us complacent as there is still plenty of hockey left to be played," said YNS advisor K. Rajan at the Tun Razak Stadium yesterday.
UniKL coach Darren Smith, who was disappointed with the defeat, said his team produced one of their poorest performances yesterday.
"We did not play to our standards and the players are aware of that. But credit to YNS for their clinical finishing and we were fortunate that we got the second goal.
"We are two goals down but it gives us a fighting chance nonetheless in the second leg," said Smith.
In an earlier match, Premier Division champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club went on a rampage with an effortless 11-2 victory over Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS).
Razie Rahim took his tally to 24 goals in the tournament with a hattrick in the 18th, 29th and 70th minutes - all through penalty corner executions while Muhammad Ammerullah scored a brace in the 19th and 53rd minutes.
Other goals were from Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (fifth) Baljit Singh (seventh), Chua Boon Huat (34th), Ismail Abu (42nd), Mohd Noor Faez (65th), and Harvinder Singh (53rd). With the huge win, the second leg tomorrow is just a mere formality.
Meanwhile, defending champions Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) defeated Division One champions Armed Forces Juniors 6-0 at the KLHA Stadium.
Firhan Ashaari scored TNB's opening goal after 10 minutes before Faisal Saari added their second in the 28th minute.
In the second half, TNB increased their tempo and scored four more goals through Mahinder Singh (43rd and 60th), Faiz Helmi (46th) and Firhan (69th)
New Straits Times