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