Sunday, January 20, 2013

Olak on course for semi-finals

OLD La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak-PKT) edged Datuk Taha 1-0 yesterday to keep their sights on playing in the semi-finals of Division Two  in the NSC-Milo-MHC Junior Hockey League.
   And in the only Division One match of the day, Tengku Mahkota Ismail SS Juniors beat Bukit Jalil Sports School 1-0 courtesy of Aliff Syazwan’s 48th minute penalty corner strike.
   The Olak hero was Izaidi Ismail who nailed the winner in the fifth minute, but Olak team manager Joseph de Silva rued the missed sitters.
   “We could have won by a bigger margin but my players muffed plenty of sitters and turned it into a difficult match. But still, the three points have moved us to second spot on the standings and now we will challenge for the semi-finals slot by keeping the momentum in our remaining three matches,” said Joseph.
   Kuala Lumpur Sports School (KLSS) top the Group B standings on 15 points after five matches, while Olak trail on 12 points, as they have played one match more and lost two games.
   “Our mistakes this season were against KLSS and Tunku Besar where we lost by identical 2-1 scores. However, all is not lost, as the win against Datuk Taha has given us fresh hopes,” said Joseph.
    RESULTS: Division One: Tengku Mahkota Ismail SS Juniors 1 Bukit Jalil SS 0.
  Division Two -- Group A: SERATAS 0 Kelantan HA 2, Nur Insafi 0 STAR 1, Kedah HA Juniors 2 Anderson Juniors 2.
  Group B: Johor HA 2 Kuala Lumpur Sports School 5, Kuala Langat 1 Tunas Muda Pahang 8, Olak KPT 1 Datuk Taha 0, Tunku Besar Secondary School 5 Padang Midin 3.


             P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
SSTMI        3  3  0  0  16  0   9
PJCC         3  3  0  0  5   2   9
UniKL        3  2  0  1  12  4   6
Anderson     2  1  1  0  5   3   4
Malacca HS   3  1  1  1  6   14  4

SSTMI Jnrs   4  1  0  3  5    15 3
USM-MSSSPP   1  0  0  1  0    2  0
BJSS         5  0  0 5  3   12  0

               P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
Kelantan    5  5  0  0  19  5  15
1Mas Penang    3  3  0  0  12  1  9
Kedah HA Jnrs  6  2  3  1  9  6   9
STAR Ipoh      4  2  1  1  4  7   7
Perlis         3  1  1  1  9  7   4
Anderson Jnrs  3  1  1  1  6  6   4
Matri          3  0  1  2  2  7   1
SERATAS        5  0  1  4  1  10   1
Nur Insafi     4  0  0  4  1  14  0


                       P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
KLSS               5  5  0  0  20  6  15
OLAK             6  4  0  2  14  5  12
Datuk Taha     6  3  1  2  17  5  10
TM Pahang      6  3  1  2  16  11  10
TBSS              5  3  0  2  12  8   9
K Langat        6  3  0  3  7  26  9
Poli KPT         3  2  0  1  9  3   6
BJSS Jnrs      4  1  0  3  3  16  3
SMKPM          5  0  0  5  9  18  0
Johor HA       4  0  0  4  6  15  0

Two bites to the World Cup cherry..

MALAYSIAN hockey received a lifeline to qualify for next year’s World Cup, after Johor was awarded the hosting rights for the semi-final stage of the World League on June 1-9 at the Taman Daya Stadium.
    This came about after Germany withdrew as hosts, making Malaysia’s route to the World Cup easier as they no longer have to play in the Third Leg if the World Series in Russia, and the top-three in Johor are assured of a spot in next year’s World Cup.
   The new host-job also meant that Malaysia would have two bites of the cherry, as Ipoh will also host the Asia Cup on Aug 24-Sept 1, but it only offers a single spot for the World Cup.
    The top eight teams qualify to Round Three automatically and so Malaysia are expected to face off against four of the top eight in the International Hockey Federation (FIH) rankings. The to-eight are Germany, Australia, Holland, England, Pakistan, New Zealand, Spain and South Korea.
     The other teams for the semi final stages, to be held in Johor and Holland, will come from the Round Two stage that will be held in India, Brazil, France and Russia in the next four months.
    Malaysian Hockey Confederation President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah said the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has confirmed Malaysia as the host for the tournament.
   “It is an honor to play host to this prestigious event that will not only feature top ranked teams but also provide Malaysia an opportunity to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Holland,” said Tengku Abdullah.
   “I must record my appreciation to the Johor State Government for graciously having consented to hold the event in Johor Baru.
    “There is no doubt that hockey has a tremendous fan base in Johor and I am sure that the Malaysian team will benefit from the support they will receive in their quest to make the World Cup on merit for the first time since 1998.”
     Malaysia last played in the World Cup in 2002 when it was held in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia played in the 1998 World Cup in Holland after a hiatus of 16 years as prior to that India 1982 was the last appearance for Malaysia.
    There will be two Round 3 tournaments with eight teams each. These tournaments will feature two pools of four teams and will have placement games following the Round Robin. The second semi final is to be held in Holland.
    In the semis, the top eight teams from the FIH rankings will join the qualifiers from the four second round tournaments that are to be held in India, Brazil, France and Russia.
    Tengku Abdullah said the opportunity to host the Semi Finals arose when Germany who was the original hosts withdrew and FIH approached Malaysia.
     “A lot of thought was put into the idea of playing host and after looking at the benefits that will avail to our national team, we put in a bid, but only after getting the official nod from Johor,” said Tengku Abdullah.
    “With this development Malaysia is exempt from playing in Round Two in Russia in May and this provides us with a perfect opportunity to try qualify for the World Cup.”
      National coach Paul Revington was happy with the turn of events: “ “Malaysian hockey has a very proud history of successfully hosting FIH World Level events and it is no surprise that the FIH has turned to the MHC to host the World League semi final stage.
     “The timing of this World Level event also fits perfectly with the long-term MHC development drive to promote the 1Mas, Project 2013 and 2017 teams as these youngsters need to watch more elite teams and players perform on Malaysian soil.
    “This is obviously very exciting news and an added bonus for our Senior Team too who will relish the challenge and will aim to make full use of this opportunity.”