Monday, February 18, 2013

KL Sports School pick SSTMI...

DIVISION Two champions Kuala Lumpur Sports School (KLSS) pulled out the toughest rabbit in the Milo Cup draw, as they will face Division One champions Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) in the quarter-finals of the Junior Hockey League on Feb 22.
   Division One runners-up Petaling Jaya City Council (PJCC) are expected to cruise past Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School Juniors, while UniKL Young Guns also have a relatively easy time against Malacca High School.
   And Division Two runners-up Kelantan are also expected to have the better of Anderson of Ipoh.
    The first leg will be on Feb 22, with the return-leg on Feb 24.
    PJCC team manager Zanal Abidin was happy with the draw, but the traveling bothered him much.
     “We were not worried about our opponents in the draw today (yesterday) because we are ready for any team. Our main concern was traveling for the away match, and being picked to play in Taman Daya (Johor Baru) is very troublesome and tiring.”
    “Even though the draw to play SSTMI Juniors is good, we now we have to plan for the logistics to make sure fatigue does not come into the picture,” said Zanal.
      In the League, PJCC could only edge SSTMI Juniors 3-2, but Zanal’s side has come a long way since.
     As for KLSS, their semi-finals as well as final hero Jagveen Singh is the man to watch in the quarter-finals after scoring five goals in the League.
    Jagveen scored crucial goals in the Division Two semi-finals win against Anderson Juniors (5-1) as well as the winning goal in the final against Kelantan (2-1) to hand his side their first JHL silverware after three attempts.
   He has been steadily improving since voted as the Player-of-the-Final in the National Under-14 in 2010, when he also scored the winner against Perak (2-1).
    KLSS team manager Zainal Ariffin said: “It cannot get any tougher than this for us (playing Division One champions) but we have to come to terms with it fast.
  “The odds are stacked against us, but we will give it our best shot as we have nothing to lose. The first leg will be vital as we cannot let them take a big lead to keep our hopes alive in the second leg.”

Malaysian women beat Russia 3-1..

THE Malaysian women’s hockey team started Round Two of the World League in style when they beat Russia 3-1 in New Delhi, India, yesterday.
    The women, ranked 22nd in the world, beat a 20th ranked team comprehensively, and the score-line could have been much higher if not for the missed sitters.
    Siti Rahmah Othman scored the opening goal off a penalty corner attempt in the ninth minute, while Noor Hasliza Ali made it 2-0 off a field attempt in the 42nd minute.
   Russia narrowed the gap off a Zhashkova Alexandra penalty corner in the 58th minute, but a 64th minute field attempt from Sylvester Silin Fazilla doused their come-back plans.
     Their next match, against India today, is expected to be a cracker with the winner moving closer to the Third Round tournament. The other teams in Malaysia’s group are Kazakhstan, Fiji and Japan.
    In the other match of the day, Japan beat Fiji 14-0.
   “We relied on counter attacks for this win, as we only earned one penalty corner and made it count. However, our goalkeeper Ayuni (Farah Ayuni Yahya) who was in top flight, was injured in the last three minutes of the match and it looks pretty bad me.
    “Hopefully it is not too serious, and she can play tomorrow (today) against India because I expect it to be a tough encounter, but confident my players will deliver full points,” said women’s coach Nasihin Nubli.
     Meanwhile, the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) competitions committee decided yesterday to allow Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) debutantes Terengganu to play in the Premier Division.
    The decision was taken after Terengganu submitted a team list with eight senior and one national junior.
     The nine are Shahrun Nabil, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Azlan Misron, Ismail Abu, Jivan Mohan, Ameerullah Aziz, Fitri Saari, Khairulnizam Ibrahim and junior Mohamed Hasrol.
   “Terengganu made a request to play in the tougher Premier Division and we allowed them because they have nine national players.
   “There has been precedents where we allowed UniKL and Yayasan Negri Sembilan to play in the top flight in the past based on team list as it would be pointless to let national players run riot in the lower division," said MHC Competitions Committee Chairman M. Gobinathan.
    However, it was not a concrete approval as the closing date for registration is March 2 and if Terengganu submit a different team list, they will have to play in the lower division.
     The MHL will start on March 22 with the finals slated for May 12.  There are seven teams each in the Premier as well as Division One this season.