Friday, February 24, 2012

Anderson shock Sapura

DIVISION Two champions Sapura were shellshocked after they were held to a 1-1 draw by MBI Anderson in the Milo Cup quarter-finals at the Kuala Lumpur HA Stadium yesterday.
Anderson, who finished fourth in Division One, soaked in the pressure after coming back from a goal down, and now aim to seal a semi-finals slot in the return leg tomorrow.
Sapura also lost two players to demerit points, and Fadzli Zulkifli and Farid Zuki will be siting on the stands in the crucial second leg.
Harmesh Singh gave Sapura the lead off a penalty corner attempt in the 17th minute, but Helmi Jaffar equalised for Anderson in the 38th minute also off a penalty corner attempt.
"Sapura played a robust game to rattle my players, but they ended up losing concentration match instead. My players can play better hockey than today (yesterday) and I believe they will be at their best in the return leg," said MBI Anderson coach Dalbir Singh.
Sapura coach I. Vickneswaran was disappointed that his charges muffed four open chances.
"When you fail to score four open goals in a match, there is bound to be unnecessary pressure in the return leg. Sapura will also play without two regulars, and that itself is going to make us the underdogs," said Vickneswaran.
League champions SSTMI Thunderbolts virtualy qualified for the semi-finals when they hammered Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (PJCC) 7-1, making the return leg purely academic.
The Thunderbolts goals were scored by Afzanizam Zakaria (ninth), Shahril Saabah (18th, 46th, 49th), Amir Zulkarnian (29th), Hafiz Seleman (38th) and Aminuddin Zain (59th). The PJCC consolation was scored by Nazirul Zebidi in the 36th minute.
UniKL Young Guns, as expected, also had an easy time as they beat USM Juniors 6-1, while Bukit Jalil Sports School beat Malacca High School 6-1.
The UniKL goals were scored by Shazrul Imran (fifth), Hafiz Zainol (eighth, 28th), Syafiq Zulzairin (41st), Nor Aqman Gaffar (55th), Hafify Rodzi (61st). The USM goal was scored by Izzuan Halim in the 60th minute.
RESULTS: Quarter-finals (First Leg): SSTMI Thunderbolts 7 Petaling Jaya Municipal Council 1, Sapura 1 MBI-Anderson 1, Malacca High School 1 Bukit Jalil Sports School 6, UniKL Young Guns 6 USM Juniors 1.
TOMORROW -- Second Leg: Bukit Jalil Sports School v Malacca High School (Bukit Jalil Pitch II, 4pm), USM Juniors v UniKL Young Guns (KLHA, 4pm), Petaling Jaya Municipal Council v SSTMI Thunderbolts (Bukit Jalil Pitch II, 6pm), MBI-An derson v Sapura (KLHA, 6pm).

Walmiki ruled out

EDITOR'S PREDICTIONS: Canada beat France while Poland shock India.

Promising India striker Yuvraj Walmiki
(pic in blue) was today ruled out of the remainder of the men’s hockey Olympic Qualification tournament due to a hamstring injury.
Walmiki sustained the injury during India’s third round—robin match against France on Tuesday and did not play in the hard—fought 3—2 win over Canada last night.
It is suspected that Walmiki has aggravated a previous injury and might take at least 21 days to get back to match fitness.
“He (Walmiki) underwent an MRI scan yesterday and reports suggest that he is suffering from a hamstring tear, which will probably take 7 to 10 days to repair,” India coach Micheal Nobbs told reporters at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium ahead of tomorrow’s final round—robin match against Poland.
"We fear he might have aggravated a previous injury. In that scenario, he will take at least 21 days to recover. He is a very talented player and crucial to our scheme of things.
So, we will carefully look into his rehabilitation,” he said.
Nobbs conceded his side will miss Walmiki but said he has enough resources in the squad to make up for his loss.
“As per the rules of the tournament, we can’t call for a replacement. But we have 17 more players in the squad. We may use (defender) Rupinder Pal Singh in the forwardline tomorrow because we used him successfully in this position in Australia,” Nobbs said.
Nobbs hinted that he will continue to experiment with the side and might play both the goalkeepers - captain Bharat Chetri and P R Srejeesh - alternatively tomorrow.