Sunday, October 23, 2011

KLHC claw back from the dead

KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) came back form the dead to snatch a treble in the Malaysia Hockey League when they beat Tenaga Nasional 3-2 in the TNB Cup last night.
KLHC had already bagged the Charity Shield and the League title, but were surprisingly down 0-2 to Tenaga Nasional after 35 minutes of play.
However, Tenaga were guilty of trying to defend the lead, and KLHC made them pay in the final 10 minutes minute of the match.
KLHC skipper Azlan Misron, who tied the knot a day before the final, played a pivotal role in the comeback and was aptly named as Player of the Tournament.
Faizal Saari's reverse stick shot in the fifth minute, earned Tenaga Nasional their first penalty corner.
And it was poetic justice for the young lad, as he pumped in a powerful flick to the roof of the net for the early lead.
Faizal, 20, scored his 19th goal of the tournament, which included four-hat-tricks.
And KLHC were placed in deeper trouble when Amir Farid, also 20 years-old, nailed Tenaga's second goal in the eighth minute off a filed attempt.
The score stood until the breather, and after the restart, KLHC strikers Ismail Abu, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin and Chua Boon Huat tried their best but Tenaga's defenders stood their ground.
However, KLHC finally narrowed the gap with an Amerullah Aziz field goal in the 59th minute, which took the match into a maddening pace.
Tenaga defender Amin Rahim, a national stalwart, made the blunder of his life when he intentionally brought down Tengku Ahmad just outside the semi-circle, and the umpire awarded KLHC a much sought after penalty corner.
Tenaga runners were outfoxed when they ran towards penalty corner flicker Razie Rahim, but the ball was sent to former international Boon Huat who cooly slotted the goal past goalkeeper S. Kumar for the equaliser in the 62nd minute.
And it was a pass from Boon Huat, picked up by Azlan and sent to Tengku who won a penalty corner in the 70th minute which sealed the match.
Razie, national No 2 flicker, put the ball past Kumar for a well deserved 3-2 win.
"We gave Tenaga strikers too much of space in the first half and almost paid a heavy price for it. However, the half-time briefing to play man-to-man marking worked wonders to turn the tide and we landed our precious treble in style," said KLHC coach R. Vivekanandan.
Tenaga coach Lailin Abu Hassan lamented the depth of his reserves: "My first-11 gave their all and were burnt out after 35 minutes of running. And since we did not have depth on the bench like KLHC, we totally lost the grip in the final 10 minutes of play."
Meanwhile, in the bronze match, Sapura beat Maybank 3-0 with goals from Faizal Daud (52nd), Azreen Rizal (61st) and Izwan Firdaus (70th).
Sapura pocketed RM30,000 even with out their injured skipper S. Kuhan, youngester Joel Samuel van Huizen and defender Megat Azrafiq.
RESULTS: Final: Kuala Lumpur HC 3 Tenaga 2; Third-Fourth: Sapura 3 Maybank 0.
Premier Division: Champion: Kuala Lumpur HC (RM60,000); Runner-up: Sapura (RM40,000); Third: Tenaga Nasional (RM30,000).
TNB Cup: Champion: Tenaga Nasional (RM60,000); Runner-up: Kuala Lumpur HC (RM40,000); Third: Sapura (RM30,000); Fourth: Maybank (RM20,000).
Fairplay: Maybank (RM3,000); Best Player of the Tournament Azlan Misron, KLHC (RM500); Best Goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin, KLHC (RM500); Top Scorer Faizal Saari, Tenaga, 19 goals (RM500); Man of the Match Final: Chua Boon Huat, KLHC (RM500).
Division One -- Champion: SSTMI-Thunderbolt (RM20,000); Runner-up: UniTen (RM15,000); Third: Ipoh City Council (RM10,000).

Simoncelli dies in Malaysian GP

ITALIAN rider Marco Simoncelli, 24, died after being involved in a horrific crash at the 2011 Malaysian MotoGP Sunday.
Earlier, the race was cancelled in its second lap when the San Carlo Honda Gresini rider fell and was hit by Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi.
Simoncelli's helmet was knocked off in the accident, which occurred when the Italian lowsided from his bike at Turn 11.
His bike veered across the track and straight into the path of Edwards and Rossi.
The decision to cancel the race was made by Malaysian race promoter, Sepang International Circuit (SIC) and Dorna Sports.