Thursday, February 28, 2013

UniKL and SSTMI warm-up for fourth final...

THE second leg semi-finals of the Junior Hockey League Milo Cup are a foregone conclusion, as UniKL Young Guns and Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) look forward to playing in their fourth consecutive finals on Sunday.
    UniKL Young Guns beat SSTMI Juniors 6-0 while SSTMI hit eight goals past Anderson to turn the return legs into warm-ups for the big clash.
    UniKL won the first encounter in 2010, but lost the second and third to SSTMI.
    “There is nothing to worry about the return leg tomorrow (today), as we gave it all in the first by scoring eight goals. UniKL were also impressive over our sister school, and so I expect the final to be another cracker on Sunday,” said SSTMI coach Wan Roslan Wan Rahman.
    SSTMI travel  to Ipoh for the return leg, which might just turn into another whipping exercise if Wan Roslan decides to avenge their 3-2 defeat to Anderson in the League.
    As for UniKL coach K. Embaraj, there is no slowing down even with a six-goal cushion.
    “I’ve had bad experiences in the past to learn from, and so, I will not break my players momentum by asking them to slow sown in the second leg.
   “We will continue with the same structure and speed which saw us win 13-0 (in aggregate) in the two leg quarter-finals and also the 6-0 score in the semis.
   “I want my players to be psyched up for the final, as we don’t want to end up as bridesmaid for the third time,” said Embaraj.
    TODAY: Semi-finals (Second Leg): Andersons (0) v Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (8) (Azlan Shah Stadium, 5pm); SSTMI Juniors (0) v UniKL Young Guns (6) (Taman Daya, 5pm).
   Note: First Leg scores in parenthesis.

Baljit has to fight for his spot...

NATIONAL chief coach Paul Revington named 16 players for the Azlan Shah Cup on March 9-17, and conspicuously missing was defender Baljit Singh.
   However the defender, together with Amin Rahim and striker Ismail Abu will get a second chance to prove their worth when Revington pits his men against defending champions New Zealand on March 3 and 4 in Malacca.
    “I have only picked 16 players while two more will be included after the New Zealand friendlies in Malacca. The battle for spots is so intense that some of the regulars like Baljit and Amin will have to fight back for their positions,” said Revington.
   Hosts Malaysia will be up against India, Pakistan, South Korea, Australia and defending champions New Zealand in the 22nd Edition which might just turn out to be another nightmarish tournament for Malaysia.
   For the record, Malaysia were sixth out of seven teams in the last edition when we lost 3-2 to South Korea in the fifth-sixth placing match, while in 2011 the occupied the bottom spot in the seven-team tournament.
   The fixtures will see Malaysia play South Korea in the opening match, and the most recent result does not favour Malaysia.
    Malaysia beat Korea 4-2 in the group stages of the Champions Challenge I in Argentina in December last year, but received a 6-3 drubbing from the Koreans in the semi-finals.
    “I know I have said this many times before, but the target is still to improve in each match by going for a win. We need to keep doing this to improve our standings against much higher ranked sides which will assemble in Ipoh again,” said Revington.
   Australia are the raging favourites to clinch their seventh Azlan Shah Cup title when the dust settles in Ipoh, but nobody expects Revington’s charges to sink to the bottom again as Malaysia prepare for the World Hockey League and the Asia Cup which offers tickets to the World Cup in Netherlands next year.
   MALAYSIA: S. Kumar (gk), Roslan Jamaluddin (gk), Razie Rahim, Azlan Misron, Jivan Mohan, Faisal Saari, Faiz Helmi, Chua Boon Huat, Sukri Mutalib, Izad Hakimi, Fitri Saari, Shahrun Nabil, Azammi Adabi, Marhan Jalil, Nabil Fiqri, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin.