Friday, December 6, 2013

Junior World Cup scores and standings

  RESULTS: Group A: Germany 1 Belgium 3, Pakistan 3 Egypt 2.
 Group B: Australia 5 Argentina 2, Spain 3 France 4.
 Group C: South Korea 7 Canada 4, Netherlands 3 India 2.
 Group D: New Zealand 2 Malaysia 3, England 1 South Africa 2.
                                P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
BELGIUM                 1   1  0   0  3   1  3
PAKISTAN                1   1  0   0  3   2  3
EGYPT                      1   0  0   1  2   3  0
GERMANY               1   0  0   1  1   3  0

                                P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
AUSTRALIA             1   1  0   0  5   2  3
FRANCE                  1   1  0   0  4   3  3
SPAIN                      1   0  0   1  3   4  0
ARGENTINA             1   0  0   1  2   5  0

                               P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
S KOREA               1   1  0   0  7   4  3
NETHERLANDS    1   1  0   0  3   2  3
INDIA                     1   0  0   1  2   3  0
CANADA                1   0  0   1  4   7  0

                              P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
MALAYSIA             1   1  0   0  3   2  3
S AFRICA               1   1  0   0  2   1  3
N ZEALAND           1   0  0   1  2   3  0
ENGLAND              1   0  0   1  1   2  0

Malaysia down Kiwis to edge closer to quarters...

Faiz Jali receiving the man-of-the-match award.

ASIAN Champions Malaysia beat New Zealand 3-2 in a dramatic Junior World Cup match at the Dhyan Chand Stadium in New Delhi on Friday
   There was plenty of drama in the final three minutes of the Group D match, as New Zealand took out their goalkeeper Richard Joyce and replaced him with a striker as they went looking for the equalsier, but it never came as Malaysia killed the clock with some good defending.
    The Malaysian goals were scored by  Shahril Saabah (sixth), Rashid Baharom (14th) and Firhan Ashaari (53rd). The Kiwi brace was scored off penalty corners by Kane Russell.

    After a rest day Saturday, Malaysia play South Africa on Sunday followed by England on Monday to wrap-up their Group D fixtures.

Skipper with a lion’s heart

CAPTAIN Fitri Saari was spotted way back in 2007 when he scored a brace to help Kelantan beat Singapore 2-1 in the National Under-14 tournament at the Pandamaran Stadium in Klang.

Fitri scored off a penalty corner and then a marvellous field goal which brought the fans to their feet.
He was only 14, and the scouts had already placed a tick next to his name on the team list.
Fast forward to 2011 and the 18-year-old made his senior team debut by playing in the inaugural Asian Champions Trophy, the same year he handed Malaysia the Sultan of Johor Cup title by scoring a goal in the 3-2 win against Australia.
As a 20-year-old with 56 senior caps, he will lead Malaysia’s assault against New Zealand, South Africa and England.
“I grew up in the shadow of my more established brother Faizal (the best senior team striker in Malaysia today) and after he played in the 2009 Junior World Cup, I told myself that I can also make the grade.
“It was not easy, but I put in many extra hours outside of normal training and now the coach has placed his trust in me to wear the arm band.
“I am ready, the team are ready, and we can’t wait for the tournament to get underway,” said the pint-sized skipper.
Size does not matter for this skipper, as he has rubbed shoulders with the giants from Europe when playing in the World League Semi-finals in Johor Baru where Malaysia finished fifth and qualified for next year’s senior World Cup in the Netherlands.
“I have been pushed, elbowed, and sent flying in tackles against bigger European players but I always keep my eyes on the ball, and never give up a fair fight for possession,” said Fitri.
And his determination, and a strong heart, makes up for his size.
“My mission is to lead the team into the quarter-finals, and then plan for the next stage. I have 17 other players who are just as determined as me, and that makes my work on the pitch that much easier.”
Malaysia need to beat New Zealand at all cost today, for Fitri and his teammates to keep their sights on the quarter-finals.

Daring to dream

JUNIOR WORLD CUP: Coach believes his team can emerge champions

COACH K. Dharmaraj is confident his charges fear no team in the Junior World Cup, as they have been turned into a hardened outfit after clocking many hour sof playing under different conditions all over the world to prepare for the showdown in New Delhi today.
New Zealand are the first hurdle, and a winning start against the Kiwis will chart the coach and his charges’ future in the tournament.
“I have told my boys many times that they must believe in themselves and dream every night of becoming Junior World Cup champions.
“And I believe, if any Malaysian team can achieve this feat, it is these boys that I have with me,” said Dharmaraj.
His players are fearless, and don’t look at the country of origin of their opponents when trooping onto the pitch.
“There is absolutely no fear in the hearts of my players for European, Oceania, Asian, or South America teams.
They have been drilled to not fear teams which have a rich history in hockey, but only fear silly mistakes which will make their quest of making a big impact on the tournament that much harder,” said Dharmaraj.
Dharmaraj went on to say junior as well as senior coaches around the globe have started to look up to Malaysia, as the players have the heart and desire to win, and keep on winning.
“I have been approached by coaches from South Korea, Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand and Egypt in the past year and all of them said that my boys are among the teams to beat in New Delhi.
“And I have also told my players, that our tour to Australia recently was an invitation, and not a request from Malaysia. Not only did the Australians invite us, but they also sponsored our board and lodging.
“Pakistan had also invited Malaysia to play two friendlies, with full board and lodging provided. It was the same with England, when we went there to play.
“Hosts India also invited us to New Delhi this year. I am not bragging, but I told the players to think for themselves why all this sudden interest to play against Malaysia?
“I told them they are now a respected outfit, and the sky is the limit, if they choose to dream big,” said Dharmaraj.
A fiery player in his heyday, Dharmaraj is also a fiery ‘preacher’ who has taken the Malaysian Juniors to new heights many times.
Under Dharmaraj, the Project 2013 players have beaten Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Argentina, South Korea, India and Spain.
“My players have only failed to beat Netherlands, and we lost twice to the Dutch under cold conditions in 2010,” said Dharmaraj.
Project 2013 were also champions of the 2009 Sea Games, runners-up in the Under-18 Asia Cup in 2009 and 2011. They were champions in the inaugural Sultan of Johor Cup 2011, and SOJC runners-up this year.
“The biggest achievement was winning the Junior Asia Cup in 2012 and qualifying on merit for the World Cup.
“My boys have performed ‘magic’ when least expected, and I have told them, dreaming of gold in New Delhi can be turned into reality if they put their heart and mind to it,” said Dharmaraj.
TheMalaysianHockeyConfederation (MHC) has set a top-six target for the juniors, but Dharmaraj believes in his players, and in tandem, they believe they are champion material.
The squad: Hazrul Faiz Ahmad Sobri, Hafizuddin Othman, Firhan Ashaari, Fitri Saari (captain), Rashid Baharom, G. Kavin Kartik, Syamim Yusof, Shazril Irwan Nazli, Meor Azuan, Haziq Samsul, Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin, Azri Hassan, Zulhairi Hashim, Faiz Helmi Jali, Shahril Saabah, Joel Samuel van Huizen, Nor Aqmal Abdul Ghaffar, Hafiz Zainol.