Friday, November 30, 2012

Malaysia v South Africa in FIH pictures

 Izwan Firdaus after scoring the first goal..
 TENGKU AHMAD TAJUDDIN celebrates his goal

Its Korea again..

MALAYSIA will square off against South Korea for the second time in the Champions Challenge I in Argentina, with the previous Group A 4-2 win being rendered meaningless.
   South Korea hit a bad patch in the group stages when they lost to Malaysia and then lost 5-4 to Poland, with their only win coming against Canada 2-0.
   However, the Koreans showed mettle when they came from losing 1-2 to snatching the semi-finals slot from the jaws of Japan on a 3-2 score.
   And South Korean coach Shin Seok Kyo did not hide his joy of meeting Malaysia in the last four.
    “I made some tactical changes after being down to Japan and we won. Now we Meet Malaysia who we know is a very strong and well organises team,
   “They have many talented players who have good skills. We have to improve our performance and I trust in my young players.”
    As for Malaysian coach Paul Revington, he was not picky about his semis opponents.
    “I am pleased that we scored four goals, again. We were effective in our penalty corners, while the goal keeper (S. Kumar) and the team’s overall performance was really good in the quarter-finals. Emotionally, the team handled the situation very well, and I’m not concerned about our next rival, as I only think of preparing my team.”
     National skipper Shahrun Nabil was more pleased with the team’s upward trend after every match as Malaysia build a side for the World Cup qualifier.
    “I’m really happy as the whole team played very well in all four matches. And we know that in this tournament, the next match will be harder than the previous one. Of course we want to win this tournament, but we are focused on qualification for the World Cup.”
  Malaysia have scored four goals in every match, starting with 4-0 against Poland, 4-2 against South Korea, 4-2 against Canada and 4-1 against South Africa.
   Razie Rahim (four), Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (four), Faizal Saari (three), Fitri Saari (1), Izwan Firdaus (1) Chua Boon Huat (1), Nabil Fiqri (1), and one which was counted as own goal against Poland.
    The strikers have scored 16 while the defenders have only let in five goals, which is also a sort of a record for the national side.
   However, they have two more matches to prove their mettle, and if they advance to the final, the likely hurdle will be hosts Argentina.
    TODAY: Semi-finals -- Malaysia v South Korea (1am, Sunday, Malaysian time); Ireland v Argentina.
    Classification (fifth-eighth): South Africa v Japan, Poland v Canada.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Malaysia Rev-it up!

MALAYSIA hammered the daylights out of South Africa with a punishing 4-1 win in the Quarter-finals of the Champions Challenge I in Buenos Aires, Argentina yesterday.
   Coach Paul Revington’s men will now meet either Japan or South Korea in the semi-finals.
   Malaysia showed that they meant business when Izwan Firdaus scored in the fourth minute of the match, and a brace from Faizal Saari in the 38thth and 57th minutes and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin’s goal in the 56th minute sealed the match.
   The South African goal was scored by Austin smith in the 63rd minute.

   “We have reached the target set by the Malaysian Hockey  Confederation (MHC) which is to finish top-four in the  Champuions challenge to improve our rankings.
   “However, the team has his own target of winning the title  and playing in the Champions Trophy and that will be our  focus in the remaining two matches,” said Malaysian team  manager George Koshy.
   George attributed the early goal was settling their nerves:  “After that, the confidence grew and the players managed to  soak  in the pressure and deliver the goals.”
    For the record, Malaysia finished fourth in the 2001  Champions Challenge in Kuala Lumpur when they lost to  Argentina 4-2 in the bronze battle.

Malaysia lead the numbers game...

Ahead of Thursday’s Quarter Finals, the FIH brings you a statistical look at the completed Pool phase of the Argentina Hockey Men’s Champions Challenge 1, which is currently taking place in Quilmes.
Pool phase by the numbers
4: The number of goals conceded by Malaysia in their three Pool A matches, the fewest conceded by any team in the Pool phase of the competition.
6: The number of penalty corners scored by Korea’s Jang Jong Hyun in the Pool phase, making him the tournament top scorer. Argentina’s Gonzalo Peillat is just one goal behind on 5, with all of his goals also coming from penalty corners. The leading open play scorers are Tengku Tajuddin Abdul Jalil (MAS), Marcin Lewartowski (POL) and Guillermo Schickendantz (ARG), who have all claimed 2 goals each so far.
9: The number of points earned by both Malaysia and Argentina en route to winning their respective Pools. Both teams finished the Pool phase with 100% winning records, giving them great confidence ahead of their Quarter Final matches on Thursday.
11: The number of goals conceded by Poland in their three Pool A matches, shipping more than any other opponent ahead of the Quarter Finals.  
12: The total number of goals scored by Malaysia in the Pool phase, more than any other team in the competition. Muhammad Razie Abdul Rahim and Tengku Tajuddin Abdu Jalil have top scored for Malaysia, netting 4 and 3 respectively.  
36: The total number of disciplinary cards shown during the Pool phase of the competition. 26 Green Cards and 10 Yellow Cards were shown during the 12 pool matches, with Yellow Cards averaging at less than one a game.
62: The total number of goals in the tournament so far. Over the 12 matches, this is an average of over 5 goals a game. The most popular method of scoring has been from open play, with 33 field goals so far. 25 penalty corners have been scored, with 3 penalty strokes and 2 own goals. Malaysia and Poland are the only teams to have conceded own goals in the tournament so far.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Next, South Africa test...

MALAYSIA will play South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Champions Challenge I in Buenos Aires, Argentina, today (Thursday 7.30pm Malaysian time).
  The national players are in a super run, as they beat all three teams in Group a by four-goal margins. However, the true test begins today, as all eight teams move into the quarter-finals irrespective of their group results.
  Only the champion will move into the Champions Trophy bracket.
  Malaysia started off by beating Poland 4-0, then South Korea 4-2 and finally Canada 4-2 for nine points. The only other team which ended with nine points in the tournament are hosts Argentina in Group B.
  Malaysia didn't need to beat Canada on Tuesday, as they were already assured of the top spot on six points after Poland shocked South Korea 5-4 in an earlier Group A match.
  However, Paul Revington's charges kept up the winning momentum with moments of brilliance from goalkeeper S. Kumar to deny the Canadians, and a super solo effort from Fitri Saari in scoring the fourth goal and dousing a fight-back.
  Razie Rahim started the goal-count by tucking in a seventh minute penalty stroke, and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin increased the lead with a field goal in the 11th minute.
  Canada pulled one back in the 17th minute when Keegan Pereira fired home, but Malaysia restored their two goal cushion in the 24th minute through a Faizal Saari field attempt.
   The Canadians rallied hard towards the end of the first half and could easily have pulled themselves level if not for some outstanding goalkeeping from Kumar.
   Canadawere rewarded for their persistence when Matt Guest lashed home a reverse stick shot in the 39th minute and looked liked they were game for a fight.
  But the fire was doused by Fitri Saari, With 14 minutes of the match remaining, as he snatched the ball in midfield, drifted past three Canadian defenders before arrowing in a sensational reverse stick shot into the bottom corner.
   It was a goal worthy of sealing shut any match.
  “My team has only been training together for six or seven weeks, and this is our first official international tournament.
 "That’s why it is good for us score four goals in every match again. I’m pleased with my players because playing against Canada is never easy.
  "However, even our next opponents South Africa are no pushovers even though they hit a bad patch in the Group stages so we will have to bring out our best again to move into the semis," said Malaysian  coach Paul Revington.
  Kumar, 32 and 195 caps, believes the team must keep up the winning mentality in the next three knock-out stages.
  “We did well three games but have to keep this winning attitude in the knock-out stages as well as we work our way towards the final.
  "Although this is an important tournament and we want to win it, we are also looking for a constant improvement of the team for the future.”
  RESULTS (Tuesday): Group A -- Malaysia 4 Canada 2, South Korea 4 Poland 5.
  Group B: Ireland 3 South Africa 1, Japan 1 Argentina 4.
  THURSDAY -- Quarter-finals: Malaysia v South Africa (7.30pm Malaysian time), Japan v South Korea, Poland v Ireland, Argentina v Canada.


            P  W  D  L    F    A  Pts

Malaysia    3  3  0  0    12   4  9
Poland      3  1  1  1    8    11 4
Korea       3  1  0  2    8    9  3
Canada      3  0  1  2    5    9  1


              P  W  D  L  F   A  Pts
Argentina     3  3  0  0  10  5  9
Japan         3  1  1  1  8   8  4
Ireland       3  1  0  2  6   8  3
South Africa  3  0  1  2  6   9  1

Malaysia v Canada in pictures



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Malaysia 4 Canada 2

Malaysian goals by Razie Rahim (seventh), Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (11th), Faizal Saari (24th) and Fitri Saari (56th).
MALAYSIA didn't have to lift a finger against Canada, but were propelled to the top of Group A in the Champions Challenge I in Buenos Aires, Argentina yesterday.
  The earlier match between Poland, world No 19, and South Korea, No 7, upset the rankings when Poland won 5-4 which saw Malaysia unchallenged to the top on six points from beating Poland (4-0) and South Korea (4-2) in their earlier matches.
  However, Malaysia still went on to beat Canada 4-2 yesterday to keep a clean slate on nine points.
  Malaysia will now play against the bottom placed team in Group B which could be either South Africa, Ireland or even Japan.
  The South Africa-Ireland and Japan-Argentina matches were yet to start at Press time.
  All eight teams qualify for the quarter-finals, but only the champion advances to the Champions Trophy.

Poland stun Korea 5-4..

Poland claimed their first win of the tournament with a stunning 5-4 victory over top-ranked Korea in the first game of Day 3 at the Argentina Hockey Champions Challenge 1 in Quilmes.  It was a remarkable result, with the team ranked 19th in the FIH World Rankings overcoming a side currently sitting 12 places above them at 7th. The result means that Malaysia are certain to top Pool A irrespective of the result in their later match against Canada.
It took Korea less than two minutes to open the scoring in the early morning fixture, with You Hyo Sik crashing home the opening goal before the Asians enjoyed 20 minutes of virtually unbroken dominance.  Korea controlled possession and created a number of excellent opportunities to extend their lead but were thwarted on numerous occasions by Poland goalkeeper Arkadiusz Matuszak who was in inspired form.
Poland pulled themselves back into the match in the 26th minute thanks to a clever reverse stick deflection from Szymon Hutek, but Korea re-established their advantage just before half time when Jang Jong Hyun sent a perfectly placed penalty corner drag-flick into the net.
Poland exploded out of the blocks at the start of the second period, netting three goals in five minutes to stun their opponents from Korea.  A 40th minute own goal was followed two minutes later by a tap-in from brilliant midfielder Dariusz Rachwalski before Miroslaw Jusczak flicked home from a penalty corner in the 45th minute to give Poland a 4-2 advantage.
Korea fought hard to get back into the match but fell even further behind when Tomasz Gorny added a fifth 12 minutes from the end of the match.  Late goals from Jang Jong Hyun (PC) and Hyun Hye Sung (FG) gave Korea hope of a remarkable comeback, but smart defensive work ensured that Poland held on for a famous and hard earned victory.  

To see the official match sheet, please click here. 

Karol Sniezek (POL Coach)
 “Yes, I’m really happy with this team. Today they played very well. The most important thing is that they are improving every match. As I said the first match, we need these first 3 games to feel confidence and today they gained that. Korea is a great opponent, may be the best one in this tournament.”
“My players are trying to acclimatize in Argentina and with the temperature here. They will reach the proper level, physically and tactically, for the classification matches on Thursday”. 

 Darius Rachwalski (POL Captain and Scorer)
“I felt better today as we played our best match here in this tournament. I think we improved and that is good for our young and inexperienced players.  I can’t remember the last time Poland defeated Korea. It is great for us, for our confidence to face the classification pool.”
 Shin Seok Kyo (KOR Coach)
“Our team has many young players and they made many mistakes. They missed many opportunities to score and made the difference. At this time of the year, the players are tired. We have to think now in the next stage. In the semi-finals, we would prefer to play against Japan.”

Monday, November 26, 2012

Malaysia 4 South Korea 2

THE Malaysian hockey team surprised all and sundry when they beat world No 7 South Korea 4-1 in the Champions Challenge I in Buenos Airs, Argentina, on Sunday night.
    And now Paul Revington’s men, No 13 in the world, are sitting pretty at the top of Group A on six points, after having disposed Poland 4-0 in their first match.
    Their last group match tonight is against Canada, where even a draw will still place them at the top, with a likely crossover meeting against either South Africa or Ireland in the quarter-finals.
     All eight teams advance to the last-eight, but only the champion will make the Champions Trophy grade.
    Yesterday. South Korea took an early lead, but Malaysia powered ahead with four goals, before the Koreans scored their second.
    Razie Rahim made sure in the 18th minute, off a penalty corner, to draw level with South Korea, and two quick goals in the 30th and 31st minutes by Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin saw Malaysia take a 3-1 lead into the breather.
   And Chua Boon Huat made it 4-1 in the 48th minute, and the game was won before Korea’s Jang Jong Hyun scored his brace.
    For the record, all four Korean goals to date in the tournament, including the 2-0 win against Canada, were scored by Jang off penalty corners.
    Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, 26 and with 197 caps said: “I think we played well most of the match, except for the last  20 minutes where we were struggling to maintain our performance.
   “The score looks good, but we are not satisfied of our overall performance. There are many more areas to improve in our last group match against Canada.”
     However, Revington was pleased with his charges show against Korea.\
     “We finished the game pleased with the fact that we won it 4-2. Even though the players are disappointed on how they played for the last 10 minutes of the match, but I am pleased and proud of them, for their overall performance in the two games, as they have shown marked improvement,”
   RESULTS: Group A -- Malaysia 4 South Korea 2, Canada 3 Poland 3.
    Group B: Japan 3 Ireland 0, Argentina 2 South Africa 1.
   TODAY: Group A: South Korea v Poland, Malaysia v Canada (10pm Malaysian time).
   Group B: Ireland v South Africa, Argentina v Japan.

                   P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts

Malaysia      2  2  0  0    8      2      6
Korea           2  1  0  1    4     4      3
Canada         2  0  1  1    3     5     1
Poland          2  0  1  1     3    7     1


                         P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
Argentina         2  2  0  0     6   4     6
Japan               2  1  1  0      7   4   4
South Africa      2  0  1  1      5   6  1
Ireland              2  0  0  2      3    7 0

Sunday, November 25, 2012

KL win sixth straight title

KUALA LUMPUR snatched the MHC-MILO-NSC-MOE Natioanal-Under 14 title for the sixth time when they edged Johor 3-2 in extra time at the Seremban II Stadium yesterday.
  It was an exciting final, befitting the status of the two teams that were the most consistent teams in the tournament.
   Kuala Lumpur have been the champions since its inception in 2007, a feat that is unlikely to be matched by others for years to come.
   Kuala Lumpur took the lead in the 22nd minute through Fallah Hassan Shahrom Jamil.
   But Johor were undeterred and found the equaliser a minute before halftime via Haikal Safaruddin who converted a penalty corner.
   However despite playing better, Johor were unlucky as they failed to make use of the chances and KL went ahead once again in the 60th minute with Kavinash Panicker Thevendran finding space to slot in.
  Just when KL thought they had clinched the title, Johor found the equaliser two minutes from time through Shafiq Hassan to take the match to sudden death extra time.
   And Kuala Lumpur’s Wan Haziq Hisyamuddin scored a gem of a goal five minutes into extra time to give the city side the title.
   “We were fortunate to win as Johor finished the match stronger. I told my players at the end of regulation time to be patient and no to take risks,” said KL coach Madzli Ikmar.
   “And when the opportunity presented itself, Wan Haziq scored with a beauty. Even I could not have finished that well.
   “It is a great moment for us and retaining the trophy is always difficult. I am proud of my players.”
   In the match to determine the bronze, hosts Negri Sembilan edged Perak 3-2 in extra time.

Malaysia beat Poland 4-0

MALAYSIA polished off Poland 4-0 in their opening Champions Challenge match in Buenos Aires, Argentina yesterday.
   And their next opponents are mighty South Korea, ranked No 7, who beat Canada 2-0.
   Malaysia laid their claim for three points early in the match when Razie Rahim converted a penalty corner in the fourth minute of the match.
  Poland then tired to make a comeback and went all out but couldn't challenge the team ranked six spots above them, at No 13 in the world.
  In a rather fiercely challenged and rather physical 70 minutes, Malaysia was the more energetic and better organised side and dominated proceedings.
   And after Razies' early penalty corner, it was Nabil Fiqri's turn  to tuck away a field attempt in the 30th minute.
  And after the restart, Malaysia benefited from an own goal in the 42nd  minute, and Razie score his second and Malaysi's fourth off a 63rd minute penalty corner attempt.
  Malaysian coach Paul Revington said: "We fielded some young players and they played very well today (Saturday). It was also our first opportunity to play as a team, and we knew we will face a tough and competitive side, and so Im very happy with the scoreline."
   Poland coach Karol Sniezek said: “It was tough game. The first match is really important because a good result is necessary to motivate the team. That’s why I congratulate Malaysia on winning the game.
  "They started in a good way (early goal). Our goal is of course to classify for the Champions Trophy, and like everybody knows, the first three games are not so important.
  "Even if you finish your pool in fourth place, you can go on to the quarter-finals. The chances to classify are open, and we want to improve our game match by match."
  As for South Korea, Jang Jong Hyun's brace in penalty coreners was enough to beat Canada 2-0.
  RESULTS: Group A: Malaysia 4 Poland 0, South Korea 2 Canada 0.
 Group B: Argentina 4 Ireland 3, South Africa 4 Japan 4.  

  FIXTURES: Malaysia v South Korea (12midnight, SUNDAY).

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Johor set final date with KL..

JOHOR will square off against five-time champions Kuala Lumpur in the final of the MHC-MILO- NSC-MOE National Under-14 tournament at the Seremban II Stadium today.
   Johor beat Perak 3-2 to make their first appearance of the final, while Kuala Lumpur will be playing in their sixth consecutive final.
  The defending champions disposed hosts Negri Sembilan 2-0 in the semis yesterday.
  Johor took a 3-0 lead at halftime through goals from Shafiq Hassan (5th), Haikal Safaruddin (11th) and Amirul Firdaus (30th).
  However, Perak reduced the gap in the 46th minute when Najmi Hayazi scored. And Najmi then made it 2-3 in the 57th minute and Perak were almost back in the match again.
  But time ran out on Perak and Johor celebrated their first final appearance since 2007.
   For hosts Negri, it was heartbreak despite dominating the match and they paid the price for poor finishing.
   “It was a tough game and we took our chances well. The final is a different proposition altogether as we are always mindful of the fact that teams are after our scalp,” said KL coach Madzli Ikmar.
  “We had a narrow escape against Negri and the second goal came at the right time. I dread to think what the consequences would have been had Negri netted the equaliser as they were growing in confidence.”
   It was all Kuala Lumpur in the initial stages of the first half as Negri opted to play a two-man attack and depend on counter attacks.
   But Negri started growing in confidence as the match progressed, enough to force three penalty corners but they failed to capitalise from the chances created.
   They lost their skipper, Mahathir Rathuwan who picked up an injury towards the tailend of the half,  while for Kuala Lumpur, Syafiq Ghani and Ahmad Hariz proved to be a handful for the Negri defenders.
   Kuala Lumpur took the lead in the 41st minute off their fourth penalty corner when Fitri Khairul opted to take a direct hit instead of playing a set piece and the ball sailed past Negri custodian Amirul Hazim who until then had an outstanding match.
  And Fitri put the result beyond doubt in the 64th minute as he weaved past two defenders before unleashing a reverse stick shot from the edge of the semi circle.
  Semi-finals: Kuala Lumpur 2 Negri Sembilan 0, Johor 3 Perak 2.
  TODAY: Final -- Kuala Lumpur v Johor (5pm); Third-Fourth: Negri Sembilan v Perak (3pm).

Friday, November 23, 2012

Hosts Negri make the semis grade...

HOSTS Negri Sembilan scraped into the semi-finals of the MHC-Milo-NSC-MOE National Under-14 by the skin of their teeth when they beat Terengganu 1-0 at the Seremban Two Stadium yesterday.
    The hosts needed a win after Penang had defeated Perak 2-0 in an earlier match but missed many chances in the first half.
   But Shafiq Mohd Zapi’s strike in the 40th minute will see them play five-times champions Kuala Lumpur in the semi-finals.
   The other semi-finals will be between Perak and Johor.
   Ironically, Negri Sembilan born Madzli Ikmar is coaching Kuala Lumpur and will plot the downfall of his state.
     “Sentiments will be set aside as I have to be professional in carrying out my job. But Negri are no pushovers as they play with their heart and it was evident in the match against Terengganu,” said Madzli.
     “They have been improving in every match, and its not going to be an easy ride. Still I am confident that my team has what it takes to make the final.”
    Johor beat Perlis 5-0 with goals from Taufik Kamjai (2nd minute), Amirul Hanis  (28th), Shafiq Hassan (52nd, 58th) and Zulsafiq Amirul (65th minute) to book their spot.
    Earlier in the morning, defending champions Kuala Lumpur laboured to a 2-1 win over Kelantan.
      Perak who had already assured themselves of the top spot in Group B and the result would have not affected their position. And on the top of that they had two players on a yellow card each – Muhd Zaidi Mat Sait and K. Hariharan.
     “With the semis only 24 hours away we did not want to risk playing our first team and it was also to rest some key players as we are in a group that requires teams to play an extra match,” said Perak team manager Manjit Singh.
     “The semis aginst Johor will be tough as they have shown marked improvement. We need to get a result within the regulation time or we might be in trouble.”
    RESULTS: Group A -- Kuala Lumpur 2 Kelantan 1, Johor 5 Perlis 0, Pahang 2 Selangor 3.
   Group B: Kedah 1 Malacca 3, Perak 0 Penang 2, Terengganu 0 Negri Sembilan 1
   TODAY: Semi-finals -- Kuala Lumpur v Negri Sembilan (4pm), Perak v Johor (6pm)



                                P        W       D        L        F        A        Pts
K. Lumpur              5         4        1         0       14       5           13
Johor                       5         3        1        1        17       4           10
Selangor                  5         3        0        2         11     9            9
Kelantan                  5        2        1         2         4       6            7
Pahang                    5         0        2        3         4      14           2
Perlis                       5         0        1        4         2       13          1


                                P        W       D        L        F      A        Pts
Perak                       6         5        0         1        15      4           15
N. Sembilan            6         4        1         1        15      9           13
Penang                    6         4        0         2        23      13         12
Terengganu             6         2        2         2         11      8           8
Malacca                  6         2       1         3           8      16           7
Sabah                      6         1        1         4          8      17           4
Kedah                     6         0        1         5          4       17           1

Midnight date with the Poles...

THE Champions Challenge I starts in Buenos Aires, Argentina today, with Malaysia hoping to make the grade to the Champions Trophy next by snatching the gold medal.
    The tournament also provides valuable ranking points for the taking, as the format is very accommodating as all eight teams move into the quarter-finals stage irrespective of their outcome in the group stages.
   In the fray against World No 13 Malaysia in Group A are South Korea (No 7), Canada (14), and Poland (19).
   In Group B Argentina (10), South Africa (12), Ireland (15) and Japan (16).
    And three of the teams have the London Olympic pedigree to back on with Korea finishing eighth in London, while Argentina and South Africa claiming 10th and 11th respectively.
    Malaysian coach Paul Revington, a South African, has said many times and reiterated during the final selection that he only has gold on his mind.
    “I want to inculcate a winning attitude among the players by changing their mind-set. Instead of thinking we are 13th in the world, we must start to think that we can win the Champions Challenge and move into the Champions Trophy bracket,” he had said.  
   And the South African selected a squad packed with international experience in a bid to capture the title in Quilmes.
   Defender Amin Rahim (32-years-old, 277 caps), striker Chua Boon Huat (32, 306 caps), goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin (34, 174 caps) and Azlan Misron (29, 277 caps) are among the experienced hands.
   While the exciting young talent in the group are teenagers Fitri Saari (14 caps) and his brother Faizal (21, 87 caps) and debutant Faiz Helmi Jali (18, 0 caps) also gaining selection.  
     Malaysia will open their campaign against Poland today at 12 midnight, as Argentina are 11 hours behind.
    Their next opponents are South Korea also at midnight on Sunday, while their final Group A opponents are Canada on Tuesday at 11pm.
    Poland, the 2011 World indoor silver medallists, will be  coming into this tournament as the lowest ranked team, but their talented squad must not be under-estimated.
    Team captain Dariusz Rachwalski is one of the most skilful and creative players in the game, while the experience of Miroslaw Juszczak (173 caps), Tomasz Gorny (108 caps) and outstanding goalkeeper Arkadiusz Matuszak (97 caps) ensures that they are certainly not in Argentina just to make up the numbers.
    Poland coach Karol Sniezek has named 14 players under the age of 25 including two 20 year olds who will make their international debuts at the tournament – Adrian Krokosz and Mateusz Stotko.



Remember that face for he has ridiculed Malaysian hockey, both the teams and fans as HOOLIGANS. And in an interview with a Dutch website, umpire Coen van Bunge who was one of the two neutral umpires at the Sultan of Johor Cup 2012 claims amongst others:

- that he sent Malaysian captain Mohd Nor Faeez Ibrahim to the sin bin in the Malaysia v Australia match was because Faeez "touched" him.

- that the drum beating was "rhythm of death".

- that spectators were seated near him and he had to stay out of their way.

- that after the match there were four officers surrounbding him and that he was almost pushed out of the field.

- that he was escorted back to hotel with four officers and a gun weilding officer stood in the hallway of his hotel room.

This is something that the Malaysian Hockey Confederation needs to raise with FIH and there is video evidence to show that the so called four officers never touched him, and that his fellow umpires plus Technical Officials were the one who provided safe passage for him to leave the field, and perhaps the most damning that Faeez never laid a finger on him
The translation ( via Google translate ) reads as follows:

Referee Coen van Bunge whistled recently in Malaysia six nations tournament for players under 21. He got to do with real hockey hooligans, says the arbitrator in the Spits.Bunge whistled the match between host Malaysia and Australia. After a short time he gave two yellow cards to players of Malaysia, all hell broke into the stadium - where five thousand men sat - loose. 'One Malaysian player slipped by me and protested vehemently his Australian opponent because I had no map data for an offense, "explains Van Bunge from the newspaper. "Because of the protest I gave him yellow. Immediately afterwards came the leader of Malaysia to redress me and touched me when I showed him yellow. ""The crowd was incredible pounding and especially the hard core left with their drums in a kind of rhythm of death made themselves heard," says the 31-year division. "The spectators sat on n as three meters from the ground and I tried but a little out of their stay."In the final phase, according to the newspaper again 3-2 for Australia. Then Van Bunge totally screwed. "Immediately afterwards there were four officers around me, that I almost pushed off the field. Meanwhile, from the stand a glass bottle, plastic bottles and even a stick of a flag thrown at me. "Then the arbitrator under an escort of four officers drove back to his hotel. He was also escorted to his room. "There was still an hour an agent with gun in the hallway and I was advised that evening at the hotel to stay and room service to order."When asked whether Van Bunge in the future going to Malaysia to whistle, replies the thirties that he certainly would. "All in all it is a very frightening experience as five thousand spectators so terrible rage against you, and I hope something like that never really more to do. But next time I would definitely go back to Malaysia to whistle. I just think that she would not be so quick to ask. "

Please visit for the original posting.

Scheidsrechter Coen van Bunge floot onlangs in Maleisië een zeslandentoernooi voor spelers onder de 21 jaar. Hij kreeg daar te maken met echte hockeyhooligans, vertelt de arbiter in de Sp!ts.

Van Bunge floot de wedstrijd tussen gastland Maleisië en Australië. Nadat hij binnen korte tijd twee gele kaarten gaf aan spelers van Maleisië, brak de hel in het stadion - waar vijfduizend man zat - los. ‘Een Maleisische speler gleed volgens mij uit en protesteerde heftig omdat ik zijn Australische tegenstander geen kaart had gegeven voor een overtreding’, legt Van Bunge uit aan de krant. ‘Vanwege het protesteren gaf ik hem geel. Direct hierna kwam de aanvoerder van Maleisië bij mij verhaal halen en raakte me aan waarop ik hem ook geel toonde.’

‘Het publiek ging ongelooflijk tekeer en vooral de harde kern liet met hun trommels in een soort van ritme des doods van zich horen’, zegt de 31-jarige scheids. ‘De toeschouwers zaten op zo n drie meter van het veld en ik probeerde maar een beetje uit hun buurt te blijven.’

In de slotfase werd het volgens de krant nog eens 3-2 voor Australië. Toen was Van Bunge helemaal de klos. ‘Direct na afloop stonden er vier agenten om me heen, die me zo ongeveer het veld af duwden. Ondertussen werden er vanaf de tribune een glazen fles, plastic flessen en zelfs een stok van een vlag naar mij gegooid.’

Vervolgens werd de arbiter onder een escorte van vier agenten terug naar zijn hotel gereden. Hij werd ook nog eens begeleid naar zijn kamer. ‘Er zat nog een uur lang een agent met pistool op de gang en er werd mij geadviseerd om die avond in het hotel te blijven en roomservice te bestellen.’

Op de vraag of Van Bunge in de toekomst weer naar Maleisië gaat om te fluiten, antwoordt de dertiger dat hij dat zeker zou doen. ‘Al met al is het een heel angstige ervaring als vijfduizend toeschouwers zo verschrikkelijk tegen je tekeergaan en ik hoop iets dergelijks echt nooit meer mee te maken. Maar een volgende keer zou ik absoluut weer naar Maleisië gaan om te fluiten. Ik denk alleen dat ze me niet meer zo snel zullen vragen.’

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Johor pull off a surprise..

JOHOR upset the form-book in Group A when they defeated Kelantan 4-0 in the MHC-MILO-NSC-MOE National Under-14 tournament at the Seremban II Stadium yesterday.
     The win has placed them in a good position to make the semi-finals as they play a weak Perlis in the final match today while Kelantan will have to defeat defending champions Kuala Lumpur to make the last four.
    Johor and Kelantan are tied on seven points with the City side comfortable on 10 points. However should both lose the matches, then Selangor can take the second spot available for the semis.
    Johor, knowing only a win will keep their hopes alive, kept up the pressure from the start, and  scored the opening goal in the 22nd minute through Faiq Razin.
    And In the final ten minutes, Johor added another three goals via Asyraff Nazri (61st, 62nd) and Fikri Amer (67th to take the crucial three points.
     In Group B, Perak booked a place in the semis, the first team to do so in the tournament with a clinical 2-0 defeat of Malacca.
    The silver state thus have won all their five matches and will complete their fixtures against Penang, a match thy can afford to lose and yet retain the top spot.
     Perak opened scoring in the 51st minute through Nazrul Asyraf and added the second off a penalty corner converted by Najmi Hayazi in the 69th.
      RESULTS: Group A -- Johor 4 Kelantan 0, Perlis 0 Selangor 4.
   Group B: Kedah 1 Sabah 3, Perak 2 Malacca 0, Terengganu 5 Penang 1.
    TODAY: Group A -- Kuala Lumpur v Kelantan (8am), Johor v Perlis (3pm), Pahang v Selangor (5pm).
   Group B: Kedah v Malacca (8am), Perak v Penang (3pm), Terengganu v Negri Sembilan (5pm).


                                P        W       D        L        F        A        PTS
K. Lumpur               4        3        1         0       12       4           10
Johor                       4         2        1        1        12       4            7
Kelantan                  4        2        1         1        3        4            7
Selangor                  4         2        0        2         8       8            6
Pahang                    4          0        2        2         2      11           2
Perlis                       4         0        1        3         2       8            1


                                P        W       D        L        F      A        PTS
Perak                       5         5        0         0        15      2           15
N. Sembilan            5         3        1         1        14      9           10
Penang                    5         3        0         2        21      13          9
Terengganu             5         2        2         1         11      7           8
Malacca                  5          1       1         3          5      15           4
Sabah                      6         1        1         4          8      17           4
Kedah                     5         0        1         4          3       14          1

Sabah headache for Negri...

FIVE-TIME champions Kuala Lumpur virtually sealed their spot in the semi-finals of the MHC-MIL0-NSC-MOE National Under 14 after they came from a goal down to beat Pahang 4-1 in Group A yesterday.
  However, on the adjacent pitch, Negri Sembilan were dealt a big blow when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Sabah.
   With the draw, Negri now face an uphill task in trying to make the last four as they have to beat Terengganu and await the outcome of matches involving Penang.
   Last year losing finalists Terengganu are out of the running for a place in the semis after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Kedah.
   And Penang did their hopes a world of good by trashing Malacca 7-0 to enhance their chances in moving into semis from Group B.
 KL have 10 points from four matches and have Kelantan to play on Friday, a match that could well decide who tops Group A as the east coast side need to defeat Johor to set up the showdown for group champions.
  Perak only need one point from their remaining two matches, against Malacca today and Penang on Friday to seal their place.
   “Although we are sitting pretty we just cannot afford to take things for granted and have to play our very best. In age group tournaments nothing is certain and thus we have to remain cautious,” said Perak team manager Manjit Singh.
   “It is quite open at the moment as three teams, Perak, Penang and Negri are in the running for a place in the last four. And I expect it to boil down to matches on Friday to determine the semifinalists.”
  Pahang opened scoring in the 34th minute through Jamal Abdul Hassan. But the city side hit back with goals from Wan Haziq (47th) and a hat-trick from Fitri Khairul (59th, 61st, 70th).
   For hosts Negri, after taking the lead through Mahathir Rathuwan in the 23rd minute they created numerous chances but could not add on to their tally.
   And Sabah punished them with an equaliser in the 56th minute through Shafiq Zapi to share the spoils.
  THURSDAY: Group A: Johor v Kelantan (8am), Perlis v Selangor (4pm).
Group B: Kedah v Sabah (8am), Perak v Malacca (4.30pm), Terengganu v Penang (6pm).

  RESULTS: Group A -- Selangor 0 Kelantan 2, Kuala Lumpur 4 Pahang 1.
  Group B: Kedah 1 Terengganu 1, Sabah 1 Negri Sembilan 1, Malacca 0 Penang 7.



                           P        W       D        L        F        A        PTS
K. Lumpur     4        3        1         0       12       4           10
Kelantan          3        2        1         0        3        0            7
Johor                 3         1        1        1         8        4           4
Selangor          3         1        0        2         4       8            3
Pahang             4          0        2        2         2      11           2
Perlis                 3         0        1        2         2       4             1


                          P        W       D        L        F      A        PTS
Perak                 4         4        0         0        13      2           12
N. Sembilan       5         3        1         1        14      9           10
Penang                4         3        0         1        20      8            9
Terengganu        4         1        2         1          6      6            5
Malacca             4          1       1         2          5      13           4
Kedah                 4         0        1         3          2       11          1
Sabah                 5         0        1         4          5      16           1

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

No more Titah Tuanku ruse..

MALAYSIAN Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah sent out a stern warning to the states when he said   “Jangan cakap banyak, buat kerja”, in his closing remark at a special seminar for affiliates and office bearers in Johor Baru on Sunday.
   He also censured those who utilise “Titah Tuanku” (royal decree) randomly as he remarked that any such instruction would come from him directly from now on.
  Tengku Abdullah also paid particular attention to what he termed as jealousy, back biting and character assination as the traits that hockey could well do without.
   “Stop the politicking and get down to work. There is much to do and everyone needs to play their part in ensuring we qualify for the 2016 Olympics,” said Tengku Abdullah.
  In proposing sweeping changes within MHC, Tengku Abdullah also said that he wanted the constitution of MHC reviewed as it was not lean as it should be.
   “We have just too many positions and the issue of reserving certain positions for a particular gender needs to be looked at,” said Tengku Abdullah.
    “I wish to propose that a free elections and only for the top two will there be a case of gender equality.
   “And the time has come for all in the hockey fraternity, be it from MHC, the states and even the media to close ranks and work towards improving hockey in the country.”
   And in his presentation at the seminar, Tengku Abdullah outlined the structure that MHC will adopt from January 2013.
   Four departments are to be created, namely Administration, Competitions, Coaching & Development and the International Department. To be helmed by full time Directors, these departments have been given specific tasks.
  In addition Tengku Abdullah also wants the 1MAS program to be reviewed, as he wants specific attention to be paid towards training of penalty corner specialists from a young age.
   “In order to ensure that hockey reaches the masses, I want the 1MAS program to be expanded and from now on it will be a 1 pitch 1 centre ratio and not one state one centre,” clarified Tengku Abdullah.
  “We need to pay special attention towards development and I want all states to ensure that they have a development program and not depend on ad-hoc way towards developing hockey.
   “And it is a requirement for states to have a league and I will consider a grant for states that hold their leagues.”
   The President also allowed the states to present their views and was receptive of the ideas put forward. A Task Force will be formed to implement the changes.

The warnings were there

THE warnings were all there after Malaysia beat Germany who became the eventual champions, but still, the chinks could not be polished in time and the Malaysian juniors were brought crashing down to earth.
  After winning gold last year at the same venue, and then going on to win the Junior Asia Cup gold medal, there was much hope that this batch of players would at least play in the thrid-fourth bracket and not languish at the end of the pool.
  Malaysia went into the tournament without two of their best juniors in brothers Fitri and Faizal Saari, who are now in Argentina for the Champions Challenge I tournament, and nobody expected them to beat Germany or India to the gold medal.
  But nobody also expected them to squander so many penalty corners in every match, almost an average of nine every match, and nobody also expected them to argue with umpires and pick up more yellow and green cards than score goals.
  Those were the two glaring chinks which saw Malaysia slide form champions to also played in the second edition.
  "We will work on the penalty corners from now until the Junior World Cup (next November in New Delhi) as even our current flicker Noor Faeez (Ibrahim) would be overage together with a few more players.
  "This batch needs much work on them before we can talk about playing in the semi-finals of the Junior World Cup," said Malaysian coach K. Dharmaraj.
   On the tournament itself, the crowd in Johor Baru were simply fantastic and never stopped cheering even when Malaysia were beaten 5-2 by New Zealand in the pool match.
  About 5,000 of them turned up for every match, and even torrential rain failed to leave the seats empty.
  And all the coaches, from India to Pakistan to Germany to Oceania only had good things to say anbout the Sultan of Johor Cup.
   The Australian coach Paul Gaudoin summed it up when he said: "This is one of the only junior tournaments in the world and we are really grateful to be here."
   No other countries in the world have a junior tournament like the Sultan of Johor Cup, which offers a platform for a sterling age-group tournament and the Malaysian Hockey Confederation and the Johor Hockey Association should be commended for running the show.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Negri continue winning ways..

NEGRI Sembilan registered their second win in as many days when they defeated Kedah 4-0 in the MHC-Milo-NSC-MOE National Under-14 tournament at the Seremban II Stadium yesterday.
   Two goals each from Mahathir Rathuwan (10th, 24th minutes) and Hilmi Hairuddin (26th, 35th) gave the hosts a resounding win although they really should have added to their tally in the second half.
  Penang registered a 6-2 win over Sabah who had done well in earlier matches restricting their opponents to just one goal margin of defeat.
  Aiman Asyraff put Penang ahead in the 11th minute, converting a penalty corner. But Shello Silverus made it all square in the 15th minute, only for Penang to regain the lead in the 19th minute via Afif Haikal Azhar.
  Silverus scored his second to pull his team level in the 22nd minute via a penalty corner.
  But that was as far as Sabah could last as Penang added another four goals in the second half through Azim Ilias (42nd), Ytengku Ariff Haikal (57th minute), Safirul Sazali (66th) and Farhan Rozi (69th).
  Meanwhile Selangor defeated Johor 3-1 with the Selangor goals coming from Asyraff Nazri (47th), Fariq Razin (50th) and Faisol Rohizan (67th). Johor’s solitary goal was scored by Amirul Hanis in the 27th minute.
  Perak continued their winning ways by defeating last year’s runner up Terengganu 3-1 to consolidate their lead in Group B.
  And the battle of the east coast states, between Kelantan and Pahang, ended scoreless.

Slide form top to bottom...

FROM champions, Malaysia finished last in the second edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup at the Taman Daya Stadium yesterday.
  After taking a 1-0 lead against New Zealand, Malaysia allowed the Kiwis to come back into the match and then score the golden goal off the only penalty corner they won in the match.
   Malaysia have only themselves to blame as they dominated the match but failed to make full use of the nine penalty corners in the match, only converting one.
   It was a disappointing end to what promised to be a great tournament for the defending champions after they had beaten five-times world junior champions Germany 3-2 in the opening match.
   Yesterday, despite winning five penalty corners in the first half, Malaysia failed to make any headway.
   And then the match was stopped for 25 minutes, in the 28th minute, due to rain, but after the restart, Malaysia were still clueless.
   It was only in the in the 48th minute when Noor Faeez Ibrahim played the ball wide of the left post for a diving Shazril Irwan Nazli to score in a penalty corner set-piece.
   But the Kiwis were back on level terms in the 58th minute through Jared Panchia and in extra time they scored off their only penalty corner of the match in the 72nd minute through Kane Russel to take the fifth spot.
   "For sure this is a disappointing tournament as from defending champions we ended last in the pool. But there are many things to be learnt from ths tournament, and we will be taking the good into the Junior World Cup training after this," said Malaysian coach K. Dharmaraj.
  Malaysia have qualified for the Junior World Cup in New Delhi next year, and have exactly 12 months to improve their game.
  RESULTS: Final -- India x Germany x; Third-Fourth: Pakistan 2 Australia 2 (Australia win on golden goal); Fifth-Sixth: Malaysia 1 New Zealand 1 (NZ win on golden goal).

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Malaysia hold India 3-3

MALAYSIA ended up on the bottom of the Sultan of Johor Cup standings when they could only hold India to a 3-3 draw at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru yesterday.
  The match was delayed by two hours after thunderstorms wreaked havoc on the fixtures. 

  MALAYSIA ended up on the bottom of the Sultan of Johor Cup standings when they could only hold India to a 3-3 draw at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru yesterday.
  And the hosts will play New Zealand in the fifth-sixth classification match today, while India will square off against Germany for the gold medal.
 Yesterday, Germany beat Pakistan 3-0 for nine points, while Australia beat New Zealand 5-1 also or nine points, but the Germans advance to the final on a better goal difference.
  Malaysia will now either play New Zealand of Pakistan for the fifth-sixth spot on Sunday afternoon.
  Though it was a much better performance, the defenders were guilty of ball watching while the forwards failed to finish off the chances created.
 In the very first minute India sounded their intention of not letting Malaysia have things easy as Akashdeep Singh broke through the middle and his effort went just past the upright.
  However, three successive penalty corners by India failed to produce results as Gagandeep Singh sent the first two into the foot of the first runner while the third balooned over the upright.
  India took the lead in the 19th minute through a brilliant solo effort from Akashdeep who sliiped the ball past goalkeeper Hafizuddin Othman.
  And in the 25th minute Gagandeep Singh made it 2-0 off a penalty corner attempt.
  Malaysia were awarded a penalty corner in the 28th minute and Noor Faeez Ibrahim sent the ball past Indian custodian Sushant Tirkey before he could blink.
   However Faeez picked up a knock in the process and sat out the remaining of the first half.
   Malaysia drew level in the 45th minute when Firhan Ashaari ghosted in from the right before pushing the ball into an unattended goalmouth with Sushant beaten.
  India were awarded two penalty corners in the 48th and 58th minutes and but both were kept out by stout defending by the Malaysians.
   However a lapse in concentration allowed the ball across the face of the Malaysian goal and it fell to Gurmail Singh who had the easiest of tasks to slot home to give India a 3-2 lead.
  But Faeez had the final say scoring the equaliser in the 69th minute.
  RESULTS: Germany 3 Pakistan 0, India 3 Malaysia 3, New Zealand 1 Australia 5.


              P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
INDIA         5  3  2  0  11 5  11
GERMANY       5  3  0  2  13 7  9
AUSTRALIA     5  3  0  2  13 8  9
PAKISTAN      5  1  2  2  6  11 5
N ZEALAND     5  1  1  3  11 18 4
MALAYSIA      5  1  1  3  10 15 4

Negri beat Malacca

NEGRI Sembilan registered their first win in the MHC-Milo-NSC-MOE National Under-14 when they beat Malacca 3-1 at the Seremban Two Hockey Stadium yesterday.
  In their opening match against Perak the previous day, the hosts lost by a similar scoreline.
   And defending champions Kuala Lumpur edged Perlis 2-1 to continue their winning run.
   However, it was Malacca that took the lead the third minute through Irsyad Amir but Negri equalised in the 27th minute through Abduul Syafiq and Hilmi Hairuddin put Negri ahead in the 54th minute before Mahathir Rathuwan converted a penalty stroke two minutes before time to seal the win.
  Defending champions Kuala Lumpur had to depend on two strikes from Fitri Khairul in the 13th and 47th minutes for the win. Perlis scored in the stoppage time trough Kamaruddin Kodir Beraheng but it was too late.
   Last year’s losing finalists Terengganu had to struggle to subdue Sabah 2-1.
  Amirul Mirza opened scoring in the 14th minute before Ahmad Taufik Jamil doubled the advantage in the 49th minute. But Sabah scored a consolation through Calvianus Sikta a minute before the end of regulation time.
  Results: Group A: Johor 6 Pahang 0, Kuala Lumpur 2 Perlis 1.
  Group B: Terengganu 2 Sabah 1, Perak 3 Kedah 0, Malacca 1 Negri Sembilan 3.
  TODAY: Group A: Selangor v Johor (8am), Kelantan v Pahang (4.30pm); Group B: Penang v Sabah (8am), Terengganu v Perak (4pm), Kedah v Negri Sembiulan (6pm).

Friday, November 16, 2012

KL cruise past Selangor..

DEFENDING champions Kuala Lumpur got off to a super start in the National Under-14 when they trashed Selangor 5-1 in Group A at the Seremban II Stadium yesterday.
  But hosts Negri Sembilan suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Perak.
  For KL, Kavinash Panicker scored in the 15th and 27th minutes to give the city side a 2-1 lead going into halftime after Faisol Rozihan had reduced the deficit for Selangor two minutes before halftime.
  Hazim Ariffin scored the third in the 44th minute before a brace by Wan Haziq Hisyamuddin in the 47th and 52nd minutes sealed KL's victory.
  “It is always good to start a tournament with a win and I am happy with the result and performance. There were no opening jitters and that helped alot in our win,” said KL coach Madzli Ikmar.
  However, Madzli lamented on their finishing: :Our finishing could have been better though as we created many chances but things ought to pick up as the tournament progresses."
  In another Group A match, Kelantan edged Perlis 1-0, when Norshahrezan Mat Jusoh converted a penalty corner in the 31st minute.
  In Group B, Penang defeated Kedah 3-1 while Malacca edged Sabah 2-1.
  Penang opened scoring in the 14th minute through Farhan Rozi. And the islanders doubled their advantage through the efforts of Afif Haikal three minutes later.
  Ismady Alis reduced the deficit for Kedah in the 20th minute but Farhan scored his second and Penang’s third in the 46th minute.
   Malacca led Sabah with goals from Imran Ibrahim (34th minute) and Amirul Syukri (44th) while Aswat Merit (47th) scored for Sabah.
  RESULTS: Group A -- Kuala Lumpur 5 Selangor 1, Kelantan 1 Perlis 0; Group B: Malacca 2 Sabah 1, Penang 3 Kedah 1, Perak 3 Negri Sembilan 1.
  TODAY: Group A: Johor v Pahang (8am), Kuala Lumpur v Perlis (4pm).
  Group B: Terengganu v Sabah (8am), Perak v Kedah (4.30pm), Malacca v Negri Sembilan (6pm).
  Note: All matches at Pitch I and II in Seremban.

Hiding is a blessing...

MALAYSIAN coach K. Dharmaraj is looking towards the future, and so, the three defeats in a row in the Sultan of Johor Cup is actually a relief to him.
  After beating world junior champions Germany, Malaysia collapsed against New Zealand, Australia and Pakistan.
  And today, they are not expected to upset finalists and also unbeaten India in their last pool match.
  "After winning the last Sultan of Johor Cup, and then the Junior Asia Cup, it is actually a sobering experience to lose three matches in a row.
  "This has not only made me more determined to push forward my plans for the next 12 months, but also a wake-up call to some of my players who have started to take things for granted," said Dharmaraj.
  Malaysia are actually in the first stage of preparing a team for the Junior World Cup in New Delhi next November, and many players from this tournament would not be eligible in 12 months time.
  "The most crucial cogs that are missing here are a strong midfielder and a penalty corner flicker. We miss Fitri (Saari) in midfield and Faizal (Saari) in penalty corners and need to nurture two more from my present batch to take over their spots," said Dharmaraj.
  Fitri helped Malaysia win the last Sultan of Johor Cup while both the brothers played a pivotal role in the Junior Asia Cup, but have been drafted into the senior side which will leave on Sunday for the Champions Challenge I tournament in Argentina.
  The other factor that Dharmaraaj must nurture in this team is discipline, as there is too much of a fighting spirit off the ball in this batch.
  They also tend to argue too much with the referees and lose concentration in the task at hand.
  Against India today, a win might just see them play in the third-fourth bracket on Sunday.
  But India, who have already checked into the final, will field their best players even though the final is 24 hours away.
  "We will field the best players because we want to remain unbeaten in this tournament heading into the final. It is a good chance for my players to warm-up and so I will not rest any key players against Malaysia tomorrow (today)," said India coach Baljeet Singh.
 TODAY: Germany v Pakistan (4pm), India v Malaysia (6pm), New Zealand v Australia (8pm).


              P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
INDIA         4  3  1  0  8  2  10
GERMANY       4  2  0  2  10 7  6
AUSTRALIA     4  2  0  2  8  7  6
PAKISTAN      4  1  2  1  6  8  5
N ZEALAND     4  1  1  2  10 13 4
MALAYSIA      4  1  0  3  7  12 3

Thursday, November 15, 2012

From champs to fighting chimps...

DEFENDING champions Malaysia were handed a humiliating 2-0 defeat by Pakistan which might just see them playing in the fifth-sixth bracket of the Sultan of Johor Cup.
  There was total collapse in discipline and also the basics went out the window as Malaysia struggled to find their form.
  Malaysia were guilty of trying too hard, and in the process, making too many simple mistakes which Pakistan took full advantage to make lightning counters.
  The 5,000-odd crowd were elated when Malaysia won their first penalty corner in the ninth minute only to see skipper Noor Faeez Ibrahim balloon it over the top.
  Pakistan waited patiently in numbers at their own half and in the 20th minute, when Malaysia were in full attack, an overhead flick was sent to an unmarked Dilber Muhammad.
  And Dilber raced alone and beat goalkeeper Hafizuddin Otham for the lead.
  Rashid Baharom had the best chance in the 25th minute to equalise for Malaysia, but even the crowd was amazed on how he hit it wide instead of between the posts for Pakistan to enter the dressing room with a slim lead.
  For the record, Malaysia had beaten Pakistan 2-1 in the last Sultan of Johor Cup, and then 2-1 again in the final of the Junior Asia Cup in Malacca.
  But this time, Pakistan were well prepared for Malaysia as four minutes into the second half, another overhead counter found Dilber who set up the ball for Irfan Muhammad to score their second goal.
   The misery continued in the 44th minute when Syamim Yusof was green carded folowwed by a yellow card to Dedy Aryadi.
   And in the 50th minute there was almost a free-for-all when Suleman Muhammad hit Imran Nazli but the situation was brought under control and Suleman was flashed the yellow.
  After that, there were more skirmishes than hockey played, and it placed the Malaysian side under a bad spotlight as they trooped out in disgrace.
  RESULTS: Australia 0 Germany 2, New Zealand 1 India 3, Malaysia 2 Pakistan 0.
   SATURDAY: Germany v Pakistan (4pm), India v Malaysia (6pm), New Zealand v Australia (8pm).


              P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
INDIA         4  3  1  0  8  2  10
GERMANY       4  2  0  2  10 7  6
AUSTRALIA     4  2  0  2  8  7  6
PAKISTAN      4  1  2  1  6  8  5
N ZEALAND     4  1  1  2  10 13 4
MALAYSIA      4  1  0  3  7  12 3

India in the final...

INDIA qualified for the Sultan Johor Cup final when they beat New Zealand 3-1 at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru yesterday.
 The win gave them 10 points with one match in hand against Malaysia on Saturday.
  The India goals were scored by Mandeep Singh (18th), Harjeet Singh (27th) and Manpreet Singh (34th).

  The New Zealand goal was scored by Benedict van Woerkom in the 47th minute.
  "It is very satisfying to be in the final with one match in hand, and even though we are in the final, we will still go all out in the match against Malaysia because this is a junior tournament and all my players are of the same standard and so I will not be resting any player," said India coach Baljeet Singh.
  Meanwhile, world champions Germany placed themselves back in contention for a place in the final after they beat Australia 2-0.
   The win gave them six points, as they had beaten New Zealand 5-1 on Wednesday.
  The Germans bounced back after losing their first two matches against Malaysia (3-2) and India (3-1).
  As for Australia, they will now have to defeat New Zealand in their final match to stand a chance as goal difference could well determine the finalists.
  The German goals were scored by Dieter Linnekogel in the 13th minute and Florian Adrians in the 51st minute.
  German coach Jamilon Muelders said their two defeats to Asian sides is a worrying factor.
  "We lost to Asian sides as we could not adapt to their style of play so this tournament is invaluable in our preparations for the Junior World Cup next year.
  "Both our wins have been against Oceania sides, and now we will have to beat another Asian side (Pakistan) to have a chance of playing in the final," said Muelders.
  RESULTS: Australia 0 Germany 2, New Zealand 1 India 3, Malaysia 0 Pakistan 2.
   SATURDAY: Germany v Pakistan (4pm), India v Malaysia (6pm), New Zealand v Australia (8pm).