Friday, October 31, 2014

Terengganu whack UniKL 7-0

TERENGGANU Hockey Team's Faizal Saari carried his team to a convincing 7-0 win over UniKL in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League at the National Stadium yesterday.
   Faizal, a former national player, scored five goals in the 12th, 16th, 20th, 32nd, 43rd minutes, while the other goals were scored by Baljit Singh Sarjab (25th) and Firhan Ashaari (45th) minute. 
   And after Kuala Lumpur HC demolished Tenaga Nasional 5-3 in the Charity Shield on Wednesday, the early indications are that KLHC and Terengganu HT are the teams to beat this season.
   In another match, Sapura and Maybank shared the spoils when they played to a 2-2 draw.
   For Maybank, Pakistan import Abdul Haseem (21st), and Syafiq Zain (24th) made it 2-0, but Sapura pulled one back in the 28th minute off Amerullah Aziz, and Khasif Ali (54th) snatched the draw.
   “While I’m disappointed that we gave up a two-goal lead, it is our first match of the season so more improtantly, there was a good overall performance from my players," said Maybank coach Wallace Tan.
   RESULTS: Sapura 2 Maybank 2, UniKL 0  Terengganu HT 7. 
   SUNDAY: Tenaga v Terengganu HT (6pm, National Stadium, Pitch I); Sapura v UniKL (6pm, National Stadium, Pitch II); KLHC v Maybank (8pm, National Stadium, Pitch II).  

Ex-Navy Hurley leads CIMB Classic

Hurley, who served as a lieutenant on board a U.S. Navy destroyer from 2007 to 2009 in the Persian Gulf, knows he must be on top of his game to fend off a caliber chasing pack.

UNITED STATES ex-Navy Billy Hurley hit a purple patch with identical 67s in both rounds of the CIMB Classic to lead the stellar cast by 10-under 134 at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC).
    Overnight leader Rikard Karlberg of Sweden burst his bubble with a 76, after a super 65, to end tied-25th. A massive fall from grace, as he battled with the tricky greens.
   Kevin Streelman of the United States is alone second  at eight-under 136, after shooting identical 68s in both rounds.
    Seven players are bunched at joint third with seven-under 137 total, and leading the chase here is defending chanpion Ryan Moore (US), Noh Seung-Yul (S Kor), Jeff Overton (US), Kevin Chappell (US), Sergio Garcia (Sp), Lee Westwood (Eng) and Kevin Na (US).
   And it looks like the lead is going to change hands from Navy to civilian again today.
  "I played nicely. I even played a little bit better probably than the score is on the front side, you know, one bad swing, but hit a lot of really good putts that kind of just hit the edge.
   "If you would have just hit the edge on the first nine and you make them all on the back nine, then you feel a little bit better about it than doing it the other way around, but at the end of the day it's the same score, so I'm happy with 10 under for two days."
    And on his decision to join the US Navy before turning pro:  "I loved being in the Navy, and still have great memories and great friends from being in the Navy. If I didn't want to play golf, I'd probably still be in the Navy right now, but I'm happy to be out here and be kind of representing the Navy and the Naval Academy on the PGA Tour."
   The Navy-man was realistic that his two-shot lead is still shaky going into the third.
   "There are 36 holes of golf left. A two shot lead is better than a one shot lead, but it's not quite as good as a four shot lead. You always want to have more.
   "That's the funny thing about golf is you feel like you always could have played better. My wife actually hates me for that, or she hates golf for that. I'm like, ah, I could have always been one better, and she tells me, I don't want to hear about that."
   Hole-in-one hero Lee Westwood of England keep pace with the leader: "I played nicely, got off to a good start, birdied the first couple of holes, kept it going. Obviously hit a great shot at 11, the rescue; that was the highlight of the round, went in the hole. 
   "You know, you need a bit of luck, but at the same time you gotta hit well and straight, so it happens now and again. And went back out after the rain delay and birdied two of the last three and had a really good chance at 17 as well to about eight feet, so pleased with the way I finished, and 65 has got me right into the tournament.
    And on his ace at the 11th: "I was aiming towards 20 feet left of the hole and trying to hit a bit of a high cut because it was just too much club. It just came out perfect. It just shot out about 20 feet left and high fade and landed nicely on the ridge, and then it kicked a bit left and ran up there and went straight in the middle. Just sometimes that happens. It's 226 yards today (yesterday) and into the wind, so you know, it's going to be one of the hardest holes on the golf course."

134  Billy Hurley III (US) 67-67.
136  Kevin Streelman (US) 68-68.
137  Seung-Yul Noh (S Kor) 68-69, Jeff Overton (US) 68-69, Kevin Chappell (US) 69-68, Ryan Moore (US) 68-69, Sergio Garcia (Sp) 69-68, Lee Westwood (Eng) 72-65, Kevin Na (US) 69-68.
138  Jonas Blixt (Swe) 69-69, Danny Lee (NZ) 69-69.
139  Brian Stuard (US) 67-72, Cameron Smith (AUS) 70-69, Davis Love III (US) 68-71, Sang-Moon Bae (S Kor) 71-68, Prom Meesawat (Thai) 68-71, Angelo Que (Phil) 67-72.
140  Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) 70-70, John Senden (Aus) 72-68, Billy Horschel (US) 72-68, David Lingmerth (Swe) 68-72, Ryo Ishikawa (Jpn) 69-71, Patrick Reed (US) 70-70.
141  Mike Weir (Can) 73-68, Paul Casey (Eng) 73-68, Rikard Karlberg (Swe) 65-76, Gary Woodland (US) 71-70, Luke Guthrie (US) 73-68.
142  Charlie Wi (S Kor) 72-70, Will MacKenzie (US) 69-73, Matt Every (US) 69-73, Nicholas Thompson (US) 69-73, Jason Knutzon (US) 72-70, Rory Sabbatini (SA) 70-72.
143  Brendon de Jonge (Zim) 70-73, Stephen Lewton (Eng) 74-69, Michael Putnam (US) 71-72, Greg Chalmers (Aus) 75-68.
144  Chris Stroud (US) 70-74, Antonio Lascuna (Phi) 72-72, Jonathan Byrd (US) 70-74, Jason Dufner (US) 74-70, Charl Schwartzel (SA) 74-70, Heath Slocum (US) 71-73, Trevor Immelman (SA) 74-70, Retief Goosen (SA) 74-70, Steven Bowditch (Aus) 71-73.
145  Brice Garnett (US) 70-75, Scott Stallings (US) 69-76, Jhonattan Vegas (Ven) 74-71, K.J. Choi (S Kor) 71-74, Pat Perez (US) 72-73.
146  Tim Clark (SA) 72-74, Anirban Lahiri (Ind) 74-72, Marc Leishman (Aus) 74-72, Robert Allenby (Aus) 73-73, Brian Davis (Eng) 71-75, Morgan Hoffmann (US) 72-74.
147  Boo Weekley (US) 75-72, Tian-Lang Guan (am, Ch) 76-71, Nicholas Fung (Mas) 73-74, Tim Wilkinson (NZ) 68-79, David Lipsky (US) 74-73, Stewart Cink (US) 74-73, Kyle Stanley (US) 76-71, Troy Merritt (US) 72-75.
148  Ricky Barnes (US) 71-77, Carlos Ortiz (Mex) 76-72.
149  Will Wilcox (US) 75-74, Danny Chia (Mas) 75-74.
150  Matt Jones (Aus) 81-69, Chesson Hadley (US) 75-75.
151  Roberto Castro (US) 77-74, Charlie Beljan (US) 76-75, James Hahn (US) 74-77.
152  J.B. Holmes (US) 75-77.
153  Seuk-hyun Baek (S Kor) 81-72.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Razie hat-trick hand KLHC Charity Shield

NATIONAL player Razie Rahim's hat-trick handed Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) the Charity Shield when they beat Tenaga Nasional 5-3 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
   The Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division curtain raiser also handed four-time consecutive double champions KLHC three vital points.
   "The Charity Shield Trophy is nice to lift, but more importantly, my players fought for three points which is a first step towards defending our League title," said KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj.
   KLHC fielded six foreign players, while Tenaga had an-all local outfit.
   "My six guest players have only been in the country for a few days, and the young Australians need more time to settle down as compared to my Pakistan imports. As for the locals, Razie held the fort well and also gave us the winning start," said Dharmaraj.
   Tenaga coach Nor Saiful Zaini, whose team won the Charity Shield by beating KLHC in a penalty shoot-out, rued his missed chances.
   "We missed many sitters which could have made the difference.  And also, KLHC players had more ball sense and control, while some of my young players could not hold onto the ball and threw away many passes which turnd the match in favour of KLHC," said Nur Saiful.
   On the sideline, Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) gave a token of appreciation to veteran coach C. Paramalingam who turned 80, for his tireless efforts in developing youth even as an octogenarian.
   On the Charity Shield, hopefully, if was not an indication of the  quality of play in the Premier Division, as poor hockey was the order of the day -- from the local as well as foreign players.
   Tenaga Nasional were more composed in the opening minutes of the game, as KLHC's foreign brigade failed to gel properly in their first outing together, and Ramadhan Rosli gave the Utility Giants the lead in the ninth minute off a field goal.
   National penalty corner flicker Razie Rahim got into action in the 19th minute, and equalised with a low penalty corner flick and the game opened up a little.
   Goals flew after that, as Rahim Baharom gave KLHC the lead in the 26th minute, only to see TNB's Amin Rahim draw level again at 2-2 with a 28th minute penalty corner.
   Razie retook the lead with his penalty corner brace in the 29th minute, and again TNB drew level at 3-3 with an Azammi Adabi penalty corner goal in the 32nd minute.
  Pakistan import Mohamed Imran nailed the fourth goal for KLHC in the 42nd minute, and Razie got his hat-trick in the 57th for a comfortable 5-3 win.
   RESULTS: Charity Shield: Tenaga Nasional 3 KLHC 5.
   FRIDAY : Sapura v Maybank (6pm), UniKL v Terengganu HT (8pm). 
   SUNDAY: Tenaga v Terengganu HT (6pm, National Stadium, Pitch I); Sapura v UniKL (6pm, National Stadium, Pitch II); KLHC v Maybank (8pm, National Stadium, Pitch II). 

Monday, October 27, 2014

More money less teams in MHL Premier Division

NOTE: WITH champions trophy in December, top German, Aussies, Indian, Pakistani players not in MHL. Even Koreans are the recently retired ones.

 PIC: Nur Azmi Ahmad

THERE is plenty of money being pumped into the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) , but the number of teams is steadily declining.
    The MHL Premier Division, the pride of Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC), will only see six teams competing from this weekend, one less from last season.
   Dominating Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC), four-time back-to-back double champions, will start against Tenaga Nasional in a Charity Shield match this Wednesday, while the two-leg action begins from Friday.
   The other four teams are Terengganu HT, Sapura, Maybank and UniKL.
   Yesterday, title sponsors Tenaga Nasional came in with RM2 million for the entire year’s domestic commitments. In total, TNB has invested RM12 million into the local leagues since 2006.
   One reason for the decline is that the quality-player pool is drying up, and teams have resorted to hiring foreign players to lay their hands on the two titles.
   Maybank have signed three foreign players in goalkeeper Moritz Knobloch from Germany, and Pakistanis Shakeel Abassi and Abdul Haseem Khan who were both members of the silver medal-winning team in the Incheon Asian Games while defending champions KLHC, coached by K. Dharmaraj, have six foreign signings.
    Dharma’s foreign pack includes two young Australians - Harrison Page and Matthew Mallinson, both 20 years of age, and Pakistanis Akhtar Ali, Waseem Ahmad, Fareed Ahmad and Muhammad Imran.
    Terengganu Hockey Team has registered five Koreans in penalty-corner specialist Jang Jong-hyun, Bae Jeong-seok, Seo Jong-ho and brothers Kang Moon-kyu and Kang Moon-Kweon
   Sapura also have four Pakistan players, UniKL four foreign players. The only all-local side is Tenaga Nasional.
    MHC vice-president Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad said the TNB-MHL is seen as the answer to producing talented players.
   “With the presence of a stellar cast of foreign players in the TNB-MHL, the quality of the league is unquestionable,” said Nur Azmi.
   But with so many foreign players earning a handsome keep in the Premier Division, many budding local talent will have to watch from the sidelines.
   Juniors team manager Mirnawan Nawawi did say, after his charges finished fifth in the Sultan of Johor Cup, that he will be scouting for talent in the Premier Division of the MHL to strengthen his 2016 Junior World Cup trainees.
   But its the same old local faces playing for the six clubs, so talent scouting is out of the question.
   TOMORROW -- Charity Shield: KLHC v Tenaga (6pm, National Stadium, Pitch II).
   FIRST LEG -- FRIDAY : Sapura v Maybank (6pm), UniKL v Terengganu HT (8pm).
   SUNDAY: Tenaga v Terengganu HT (6pm, National Stadium, Pitch I); Sapura v UniKL (6pm, National Stadium, Pitch II); KLHC v Maybank (8pm, National Stadium, Pitch II).   

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Malaysia finish fifth in SOJC

NATIONAL coach Arul Selvaraj let his team loose for 24 hours, and they dished out a much better performance to beat Pakistan 3-1 to finish fifth in the Sultan of Johor Cup at the Taman Daya Stadium yesterday.
   After a 2-2 draw against Pakistan in the pool match on Saturday, the coach asked his players to hold their own discussions and formulate their own plans to face Pakistan again in the Fifth-Sixth classification.
   "Summing up the tournament, we had two draws (2-2 against Pakistan and 1-1 against New Zealand) and one win today (yesterday) and considering that we did not lose by big margins to finalists Britain (2-1) and India (4-2) I feel the it was not a bad outing," said Arul.
   If Malaysia had beaten Pakistan in the last pool match, just by a goal, they would have played in the Third-Fourth classification against Australia.
   "Considering how close we were to playing in the bronze medal playoff, I told the boys that they must now plan on their won on how to beat Pakistan and finish fifth. They held their own meeting, and even during the game, I let they loose and did not coach them much today (yesterday) they showed that they can play hockey," said Arul.
   Malaysia took a 3-0 lead against Pakistan with goals from skipper Haziq Samsul (sixth), Najmi Farizal (24th) and Shahril Saabah (32nd). The Pakistan goal was scored by Mohamed Naveed in the 45th minute.
   Skipper Haziq summed up the tournament: "We did not do as well as the coach and the public expected from us in the SOJC, but I believe if this team is also given as much exposure as the previous Junior World Cup team in overseas tournaments as well as training matches, we will also make the country proud in 2016.
   "I believe the coach must select more players from the MHL (Malaysia Hockey League) and inject into the 2016 training squad as this will be healthy competition for the present batch and nobody will take their positions for granted," said Haziq.
    Meanwhile, Malaysia will play in Round Two of the World Hockey League in Singapore in Jan 17-25 next year and must finish among the top three to qualify for the World League Semi-finals.
   The tournament in Singapore will see Malaysia battling against Bangladesh, Japan, Oman, Poland, Singapore, Ukraine and either Papua New Guinea or Fiji.
    RESULTS: Fifth-Sixth:  Malaysia 3 Pakistan 1; Third-Fourth: Australia 6 New Zealand 2; Final: Great Britain 1 India 2.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Arul: I expected too much...

MALAYSIA played their worst game of the Sultan of Johor Cup when they were held to a 2-2 draw by Pakistan at the Taman Daya Stadium yesterday.
   The draw will see last year's silver medallist playing Pakistan again in the Fifth-Sixth classification match today. The final will be between India and Great Britain.
  For the record, Pakistan coach Muhammad Ibrahim said his charges only had 12 days of training and he is very proud of their fighting spirit against Malaysia.
   "We selected the team a day before flying off to Malaysia, and played our first match as a team when we met Britain in the opening clash," said Ibrahim.
  As for Malaysian coach Arul Selvaraj: "I expected too much from this team, and I am disappointed that their maturity, physical and tactical side was a letdown. So I blame myself for their failure as I expected too much from this set of players."
    Malaysia needed four goals to play against Australia in the third-fourth classification match, but a pathetic start saw them trail Pakistan by a goal in the 17th minute.
   Pakistan, who had let in 15 goals before the Malaysia match, scored only their fourth goal of the tournament when Ali Mubashar was on target off their second penalty corner.
   As for Malaysia, the cake went to Ashran Hamsani for losing the grip on his hockey stick and letting it fly high instead of the ball in the early minutes of the game.
   And with 40 seconds left, the cake went to Azril Misron for failing to connect a perfect across-the-goal-mouth cross.
   Malaysia had nine penalty corners in the first half, and only perfected number eight in the 31st minute when Shahril Saabah nailed the equaliser.
   And 10 minutes after the re-start, it was evident that Malaysia are not going to meet their target, and will play Pakistan again in the fifth-sixth classification today.
  12th pc 
   Fifty-two minutes into the match Malaysia finally took the lead for the first time, when Shahril scored his brace off Malaysia's 12th penalty corner.
   But even before one could savour the moment, Pakistan equalised in the 55th when Mohsin Sabir's reverse stick went sailing in.
   The heavens opened up with five minutes on the clock, but even after the restart, there was no change in the Malaysian attitude and the score remained.
   India, who had 10 players who came out of the country for the first time, thrashed Australia 6-2 to confirm a date with Great Britain in the final today.
   Coach Harendra Singh had always emphasised that: "I have 10 players who made their first passposts and came out of the country to play. But they have shown that they have what it takes to play good hockey and improve with every match to make the final."
   India, the defending champions, only lost to Britain 2-0 in the pool match.
   RESULTS: Australia 2 India 6; Pakistan 2 Malaysia 2; New Zealand x Great Britain x.
   TODAY: Fifth-Sixth:  Malaysia v Pakistan (3.30pm); Third-Fourth: Australia v New Zealand (6.05pm); Final: Great Britain v India (8.35pm).


                                 P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
G BRITAIN           4  4   0    0  15  3   12
INDIA                     5  4   0    1  18  7   12
AUSTRALIA        5  2   1    2  10  16   7
N ZEALAND        4  1   1    2  8  9    4
MALAYSIA          5 0   2    3  8  12   2
PAKISTAN           5  0   2    3  5  17   2

MALAYSIA: Ridzwan Azmi, Fitri Jasni, Ashran Hamsani, Luqman Nul Haqim, Azril Misron, Najib Hassan, Meor Azuan, Sufi Ismat, Haziq Samsul, Firdaus Omar, Norsyafiq Sumantri, Amirol Aideed, Shahril Saabah, Syed Shafiq, Ahmad Ashraf, Azwar Rahman, D. Selvanayagam, Najmi Farizal.

Products of a rotten system

THE Sultan of Johor Cup is such a popular tournament that Germany, Britain and Argentina have already made requests to play in the next edition.

   Malaysia won gold the first edition in 2011, and the very next year the hosts finished last. A comeback in 2013 saw them clinch silver, and today they will be fighting for their lives against Pakistan, who are again their possible opponents in the fifth-sixth classification on Sunday.

   Malaysian coach Arul Selvaraj said he did not have enough time to prepare this side, as the team was only formed in March, but then, these set of players have been playing hockey in school, then 1Mas, and many other age group tournaments before they were spotted and included into national juniors training squad.

   Are these the best players that we have in the country right now? If yes, Malaysia's grassroots development is not working, as the best juniors in the country are not only weak in the basics, but also mentally not ready and possibly will never be ready.

   The senior team  is now dubbed as 'the almost there' players, after they missed the boat to Rio de Janeiro by dishing out an almost there performance in the Asian Games.

    And by the present trend, one can also judge that hockey is no longer played by the Punjabis, Indians, Chinese and Eurasians. At the Asian Games, goalkeeper S. Kumar was the sole representative of the lain-lain category, while in the juniors at the SOJC, we only have D. Selvanayagam.

    This is a worrying trend, as schools no longer have a sound development programme to cater for this team sport, and the task has beeen left in the hands of states, where 1Mas is the biggest shareholder, while a few clubs are also active in developing players, but it is still not enough.

   Overall it looks like there has been a drastic increase in the number of players since five years ago, but quality has been compromised as the present batch of players look like they have no mindset of their own, and are akin to robots who do not know what to do when faced with a new problem which they are not programmed for.

    Former national coach and K. Dharmaraj and his assistant K. Gobinathan are now in Europe and have been to Spain, Germany and Netherlands and are still moving from club to club looking at their development programmes, with an eye of forming a blueprint which will hopefully take Malaysia out of the doldrums in the next decade.

    Their travel jottings are posted on FB at Dharma Hockey Academy. And among the points which hit this scribe hard was that hockey is being played by five-year-olds who are taught the basics. They are also taught how  to run properly, by athletics coaches, so that they keep the good habit for the rest of their  hockey playing lives.

   These are just two examples of how great the developments are at club levels in Europe.  In Malaysia the planning and execution is still at a haphazard level, and that is why we have a rojak team in the Fourth SOJC.

   SATURDAY: Australia v India (4pm); Pakistan v Malaysia (6pm); New Zealand v Great Britain (8pm).


                                 P  W  D  L  F  A Pts

G BRITAIN           4  4   0    0  15  3   12

INDIA                     4  3   0    1  12  5   9

AUSTRALIA        4  2   1    1  8  10    7

N ZEALAND        4  1   1    2  8  9   4

MALAYSIA          4  0   1    3  6  10   1

PAKISTAN           4  0   1    3  3  15   1


Thursday, October 16, 2014

GB in final; Malaysia lose again

COACH Arul Selvaraj made a passionate call for a psychiatrist after Malaysia played to the same script and went down 4-2 to India in the Sultan of Johor Cup at the Taman Daya Stadium yesterday.
   It was the same old story, as Malaysia let in two goals, before clawing back to 2-2, and then losing 4-2 and now it looks lile they will be playing Pakistan in the fifth-sixth classification match on Sunday.
   They played the same against Britain, going down two goals, clawing back, and then losing 3-2.
   Malaysia meet Pakistan in their last pool match on Saturday, and only have one point to show after four matches.
    Yesterday, India scored off three penalty corners and a penalty stroke while Malaysia scored field goals.
    The India goals were scored by Harmanpreet Singh (25th, 27th, 55th) and Varun Kumar (65th). The Malaysian goals came off Sufi Ismat (37th) and Azli Misron (42nd).
   "My players have shown their ability in every department and the only thing lacking is thinking players who can keep their emotions in check and make sound judgements. And for this I need the help of and ISN psychiatrist (National Sports Institute) to develop their mental side," said Arul.
   India coach Harendra Singh was elated as his team are poised to play in the final, provided they beat Australia, also had words of wisdom for Arul and his men: "Like I said before the India-Malaysia match (on Wednesday) the Malaysian players need to be allowed to play their own game and not be too regimental. I have noticed many grey areas in the Malaysian side after four matches and I am sure coach Arul also knows their weaknesses and will be working to rectify them after this tournament. After all, Arul is a capable coach and I am sure he has the ability to turn the boys around."
      Arul said his charges were only assembled eight months ago: "It is not an excuse, but this is a raw side, and have hardly trained as a unit as they also played in Razak Cup, MHL and Malaysia Games this year, and then, I was also not around for almost 40 days as I was training the national side during the Asian Games."
    The reality is that Malaysia can't afford to lose against whipping boys Pakistan, who have let in 15 goals thus far, as there is no excuse to stoop so low in our own backyard.
   Meanwhile, Britain checked into the final when they beat Australia 5-1, leaving India and Australia to fight  

for the other spot.
   RESULTS: New Zealand 3 Pakistan 2; Malaysia 2 India 4; Britain 5 Australia 1.
   FRIDAY: Australia v India (4pm); Pakistan v Malaysia (6pm); New Zealand v Great Britain (8pm).


                                 P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
G BRITAIN           4  4   0    0  15  3   12
INDIA                     4  3   0    1  12  5   9
AUSTRALIA        4  2   1    1  8  10    7
N ZEALAND        4  1   1    2  8  9   4
MALAYSIA          4  0   1    3  6  10   1
PAKISTAN           4  0   1    3  3  15   1

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Malaysia caught snoozing..

MALAYSIA were caught napping in the first five minutes of the match, and went down 3-2 to Britain in the Sultan of Johor Cup at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru yesterday.
   Now, they must beat India and Pakistan in their next matches to secure a third-fourth classification match, the least.
   "A good fightback but individual mistakes crept in and we let in two early goals. However, I am proud of my players as they tried to make a comaback, but time was not on their side," said Malaysian coach Arul Selvaraj.
   "Against India tomorrow (today) my personal target is to gain another set of experience, and try and reduce the cards as we need the numbers on the field consistently," said Arul.
    Britain were so great that they never let Malaysia settle down by scoring two quick field goals in the first five minutes of play.
   The damage was inflicted by James Boon in the third minute, and it was followed by another field goal by David Goodfield in the fifth minute.
   It was supposed to be an uphill battle against the tournament favourites, but Malaysia folded and crumbled too early and only started playing hockey 10 minutes into the match.
   The same old mistakes that the players commited against New Zealand crept into the Malaysian game, and the score stood 2-0 at the breather.
    Skipper Haziq Samsul injected some hope into his team-mates with a darting run in the first minute of the second half, and his pass saw Mohamed Rohulamin slapping in past Britain's goalkeeper Harry Gibson, who was beaten for the first time in this tournament.
   However, the fire was doused by Luke Taylor in a 63rd minute penalty corner attempt which made the score 3-1.
   Shahril Saabah re-ignited the fire a minute later when he scored a sizzling penalty corner drag flick to narrow the gap to 2-3 in the 64th minute, but the Brits ran down the clock and walked away with full points.
     India hit a sixer past Pakistan, and coach Harindra is now looking for a similar performance against Malaysia today.
   "This is a junior tournament and my players have been improving slowly in some of the departments, and we hope to carry this momentum into our next match (against Malaysia)," said India coach Harendra Singh.
  And his take on the hosts thus far: "Malaysia are a good side and with home support I think it will be an exciting match. However, as these are junior players they need to be let loose to sind their identity and there should not be rigid play," said HArendra.
   Australia staged a super fightback when they came back from three goals down to beat New Zealand 4-3 to take a step closer to playing in the final.
   It was a display of clinical finishing and tremendous team spirit that saw the Aussies come back from the dead: "We had to make changes in strategy to save the match and more importantly, a situation like this will help boost the players development,  which is what we are here for," said Australian coach Ben Bishop.
   After clawing back to 3-3, the match winner was delivered by 16-year-old Max Hendry from an acute angle.
   RESULTS:  Australia 4 New Zealand 3; India 6 Pakistan 0; Malaysia 2 Great Britain 3.
   TODAY: New Zealand v Pakistan (4pm); Malaysia v India (6pm); Britain v Australia (8pm).


                                 P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
G BRITAIN           3  3   0    0  10  2   9
AUSTRALIA        3  2   1    0  7  5    7
INDIA                     3  2   0    1  8  3   6
N ZEALAND        3  0   1    2  5  7   1
MALAYSIA          3  0   1    2  4  6   1
PAKISTAN           3  0   1    2  1  12   1

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Uncut gems in Arul's palms...

By Jugjet Singh

AFTER two decades of watching and writing about hockey, it can be safely concluded that the Malaysian team is still struggling to connect the third dot, and still do not have a clue on how to hold on, and work a lead into a win.
   The Sultan of Johor Cup is like watching a replay of  Arul Selvaraj and his team-mates play in the 1998 Utrecth World Cup. The same mistakes the current coach and his team-mates made decades ago, are being replayed by his charges in Johor Baru.
   Arul admitted that the third pass was lacking in his charges, as after two brilliant moves, connecting the third dot is still elusive and that is why the  goals are hard to come by.  Then there is the sore point of discipline, like pushing the ball away after the whistle is blown and earning a card for this stupidity, and pushing the ball out deliberately at the back line and giving away a penalty corner.
   Also after taking a lead, the present batch of defenders seem to enter sleep mode, and this was exactly the same problem with previous junior and senior sides. In Utrecth, we had many promising players, but still, they went on to finish 11th out of 12 teams. And their only achievement was a 1-1 draw in Group B against Poland, and then a 5-4 win over Poland in the 11th-12th placing match.
   England, Spain, Australia and Pakistan hammered Arul and his mates in Utrecth, but the player-turned coach is now tasked with trying to help his charges connect the dot, and hold on to a winning start.
   In the Sultan of Johor Cup, Malaysia took the lead against Australia, but lost 2-1. And then took the lead against New Zealand, but then gave away a 1-1 draw to the Kiwis.
   Arul summarised that except for three, the other 15 players have not even played in the Malaysia Hockey League, leave alone an international match. And that was why they were too excited before the Australia match, and could not settle down even after 70 minutes.
     There was better composure against New Zealand, but sill, the holding power was lacking. And today, they are expected to face their toughest match of the tournament against raging favourites Britain.
   The British have brought down almost the same side which played in the previous SOJC and have scored seven goals in two matches, without conceeding a goal.
   They blasted Pakistan 5-0 and then India 2-0. Malaysia are the third Asian side in their line of fire, and it could be a massacre at Taman Daya if the players go on sleep mode more often than attack mode.
   The plus side is that Malaysia have showed that they are the fittest side in the tournament, and have better skills than players from Pakistan and India. And only missing from the recipe to success was building on the third pass in the opponents 25-yerd line.
    For, Arul has uncut gems in his palms, and he needs to be careful when he shapes them, because once cut, diamonds remain the same shape for millions of years.
   If Arul can grind the right attitude into these boys in the SOJC, winning the Junior Asia Cup and qualifying for the 2016 Junior World Cup would be a breeze and not a heart-break.
    Note: Arul Selvaraj's Hockey CV explains: 81 international caps for Malaysia and I retired after the 1998 Utrecth World Cup age 24. My personal phlosophy is that coaching is NOT just being present on the field during matches or training  sessions, but more of an individual who is able to adapt as a friend, teacher, manager and physologist to my charges. 
   WEDNESDAY: Australia v New Zealand (4pm); India v Pakistan (6pm); Malaysia v Great Britain (8pm).


                                 P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
G BRITAIN           2  2   0    0  7  0   6
AUSTRALIA        2  1   1    0  3  2   4
INDIA                     2  1   0    1  2  3   3
MALAYSIA          2  0   1    1  2  3   1
N ZEALAND        2  0   1    1  2  3   1
PAKISTAN           2  0   1    1  1  6   1

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pakistan 1 Australia 1

DAY 2 --- SULTAN OF JOHOR CUP RESULTS: Great Britain 2 India 0; Australia 1 Pakistan 1; Malaysia 1 New Zealand 1.
WEDNESDAY: Australia v New Zealand (4pm); India v Pakistan (6pm); Malaysia v Great Britain (8pm).


                                 P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
G BRITAIN           2  2   0    0  7  0   6
AUSTRALIA        2  1   1    0  3  2   4
INDIA                     2  1   0    1  2  3   3
MALAYSIA          2  0   1    1  2  3   1
N ZEALAND        2  0   1    1  2  3   1
PAKISTAN           2  0   1    1  1  6   1

TM sticks to his guns..

THE Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) held their ExtraOrdinary General Meeting (EGM) in Johor Baru yesterday and president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah stood his ground of not seeking re-election, and stopped short of naming a replacement.
    After amendments to the MHC constitution were agreed to, Tengku Abdullah said: "I will not seek re-election, and was supposed to name my candidate for the post today, but will hold my tongue."
   This is because the projected elections in November might have to be held next year, as the amendments to constitution needs to be endorsed by the sports commissioner's office.
   "Hopefully the amendments are endorsed before November, so I can name my candidate early," said Tengku Abdullah.
   Selangor HA president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal  is highly tipped to take over the hot MHC seat in November or January.
    On another note, Tengku Abdullah said he prefers coach Arul Selvaraj to remain with the juniors, and a foreign coach to take charge of the seniors.
   "I prefer Arul to take charge the juniors as we look for a foreign coach for the seniors. Meanwhile, he (Arul) can coach both the teams," said Tengku Abdullah.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

SOJC: Mas 1 Aust 2

MALAYSIA gave away a 2-1 victory to Australia in the Sultan of Johor Cup at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru yesterday.
   There were patches of brilliance, but too many unforced errors which saw coach Arul Selvaraj's men fall at the final hurdle of every move.
   Malaysian goalkeeper Ridzwan Azmi brought off two fantastic penalty corner saves in the opening 
minutes of play, which set the tempo for a sizzling and extertaining match till the last whistle.
   And just four minutes into play, Malaysia won a penalty stroke and skipper Haziq Samsul scored from the spot for the lead, and the capacity crowd went wild chanting and drumming patriotic songs.
   But Australia showed their might minutes later as Will Gilmour equalised in the 9th minute, as the entire defense stood rooted.
    And even though Malaysia fought for possession gallantly and tried to claw back the lead, it was Joshua Bretherton's easy attempt which sailed in, in the 18th minute, to give Australia a 2-1 lead.
     The hosts were placed under tremendous pressure by the taller Aussies in the final five minutes of the first half, where the difference was that the Australian defense were solid and rarely made mistakes, while the Malaysian defenders kept giving away penalty corners.
     After the breather Malaysia looked much more energetic, but were again let down by poor trapping in the Australian semi-circle, with Shahril Saabah, who has played with the senior side, making the most number of mistakes.
    With 10 minuntes remaining, Malaysia started to make more mistakes as Australia moved forward with confidence to increase their lead, but the score stood and now they must beat another Oceania side New Zealand today to keep their hopes alive of playing in the final.
   In the SOJC curtain raiser, Great Britain made their debut by hammering Pakistan 5-0.
   It was magnificent performance from Great Britain even after their match was delayed for an hour after only three minutes of play, due to a heavy downpour.
    " We won with a good margin but I feel we could have played better, " said Great Britain coach Jon Bleby.
   However, it was Luke Tahlor's hat-trick which gave them the edge, and made Pakistan look like novices.
   I another match, India had the bettter of New Zealand when they won 2-1 via goals from Parvinder Singh (5th) and Varun Kumar (43rd).   The Kiwi goal was scored by Nic Woods (53rd).
RESULTS: Malaysia 1 Australia 2; Pakistan 0 Great Britain 5; India 2 New Zealand 1.
TODAY: Great Britain v India (4pm); Australia v Pakistan (6pm); Malaysia v New Zealand (8pm).


                                 P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
G BRITAIN           1  1   0    0  5  0   3
AUSTRALIA        1  1   0    0  2  1   3
INDIA                     1  1   0    0  2  1   3
MALAYSIA          1  0   0    1  1  2   0
N ZEALAND        1  0   0    1  1  2   0
PAKISTAN           1  0   0    1  0  5   0

Saturday, October 11, 2014

SOJC test for Arul's boys...

MALAYSIAN juniors will know their standings in the world when they are pitted against some of the best juniors in the Sultan of Johor Cup (SOJC) beginning Sunday at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor.
   Defending SOJC champions India hope to ride at the back of their seniors Asian Games winning streak to defend their gold. The other teams silver medallist Malaysia will be up against are Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Great Britain.
  Much is at stake in Johor, as the SOJC is the only under-21 tournament in the world which is sanctioned by the International Hockey Federation (FIH), the other being the Junior World Cup.
   Coach Arul Selvaraj, who named his final 18 yesterday, said that he has selected the best in the country, and it is a balanced squad.
   "This is the first tournament for the boys since the team was formed in June, so they are also an unknown entity. However, I expect them to give their best, and of course we would like to play in the final, but there is no early target for these boys," said Arul.
    The team is being groomed for the 2016 Junior World Cup in India. For the record, Malaysia finished fourth in the last World Cup, also in India.
   Today, Arul's boys will open accounts against Australia at 8pm.
   India, riding high on their intense training sessions of the last few weeks, are looking at nothing less than a golden harvest.
  Led by captain Harjeet Singh India will open accounts against New Zealand today: "We are a new team but we have the same old dream to retain the Sultan of Johor Cup with us. We have been practicing together as a single unit for the last few weeks and are very confident on achieving the goal. Our first match against New Zealand is crucial as starting a tournament on a winning note will boost the morale of the team and will help continue the winning dominance," said Harjit.
   As for India coach Harendra Singh:  "The team is geared up for the SOJC and without carrying any burden of previous achievements, we will focus on playing high-level and technically sound hockey”.
   MALAYSIA: Ridzwan Azmi, Fitri Jasni, Ashran Hamsani, Luqman Nul Haqim, Azril Misron, Najib Hassan, Meor Azuan, Sufi Ismat, Haziq Samsul, Firdaus Omar, Norsyafiq Sumantri, Amirol Aideed, Shahril Saabah, Syed Shafiq, Ahmad Ashraf, Azwar Rahman, D. Selvanayagam, Najmi Farizal.
    SUNDAY: Pakistan v Great Britain (4pm); New Zealand v India (6pm); Malaysia v Australia (8pm).

Friday, October 10, 2014

Ru wrests Sime Darby LPGA lead

By Jugjet Singh

SOUTH Korean Ru So Yeon was the coolest chick at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club yesterday as she did not wilt under the burning sun to wrest the Sime Darby LPGA lead by two strokes with a six-under 65 for an 11-under 131 total.
   She was hot on the heels of overnight leader   Stacy Lewis of the United States afrer the opening round, but traded her five-under for  a six-under second round score to stand alone at the top of the leader-board.
   Stacy, however, found the going tough yesterday as she could only post a par-71 in the second round to drop tied-11th on a 136 total.
   Japanese Ayako Uehara was the surprise package of the day as she shot the lowest round of eight-under 63 for an nine-under 133 total to jump up the ranks to be tied second with Korean Ji Eun-Hee, Lydia Ko (Aust) and Jodi Ewart (Eng). The foresome are just two strokes adrift of the leader.
   South Korean golfers have won six of the past seven LPGA tournaments, and the Malaysian title also looks like it is going their way.
    The leader birdied five of her first seven holes: "It is really hot today, and I did well on the front, but on the return, my energy level was so low and this affected my game.
   "But still, 66 and 65 is good score under my belt. You know, coming to Malaysia I always expect really hot weather, but Monday through Wednesday it wasn't really hot.
   "So, I thought, Oh, maybe it's going to be cold. Well, you know, since yesterday heat is coming up and my body the conditions changed drastically on Thursday and Friday," said Ru.
   However, the kept her cool when Korean and Malaysian fans fanned her with encouragements.
   "The good thing about this is that many Malaysian and Korean fans came out to cheer me and it was a  really big boost for my energy."
     And from a control freak, she is now a much sane player after a few visits to her psychiatrist.
  "After a few meetings with my psychiatrist I found out my problem is that I want to control everything on the golf course. I'm human being. I cannot control everything.
   "I try to do and choose what I can do on the golf and not try to fight what I cant control. These days that makes me enjoy my game more," said Ru.
    Ayako Uehara had an amazing 63, but her English was not as amazing: "I had many birdy chances in the first round but did not make them. Today (yesterday) it was better and I am up there now. Also I like this Tour, as I can visit many countries and I like it."
    Simply amazing display from Ayako as she had a flawless game of eight birdies and made golf look so easy.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Stacy leads Sime Darby LPGA

By Jugjet
WORLD No 1 Stacy Lewis of the United States held on tightly onto a shaky one-shot lead with a mob of South Koreans snapping at her heels in the Sime Darby LPGA at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club yesterday.
   Shooting a flawless six-under 65, the American will have to play better gold today to fend of the chasing pack.
   Na Yeon Choi,  Park Hee Young, Ji Eun-Hee and Ryu So Yeon are the K-Pop  group singing behind the American bunched at five-under.
   And after a break from China's Feng Shanshan; Lee Mi Hyang, Shin Jenny and Yang Amy continue the Korean run at four-under and bunched at tied-sixth.
   The weather was hot, and hazy, but the ladies dazzled the crowd with some spectacular putting skills.
     Yesterday, the World No 1 used an aggressive approach on the ninth hole, an approach that led to three consecutive birdies on nine, 10th and 11th. She finished with a bogey-free round and a feeling that she was able to get through the day.
    “Another week I got off to a good start again. It was kind of one of those rounds that early it was actually kind of shaky and had to make a few par putts on the first three holes, but really just kind of hung in there and gave myself a lot of birdie looks at it and was fortunate to make a few. So it was a little bit of an ugly round, but I got a lot out of it.”
     So Yeon Ryu, who after an opening round 66, credited a golf simulator with the growth of golf in Korea. When she was younger, many of her friends were unfamiliar with the game so it was hard to connect with them.
   “After the golf simulator business, people start to play more golf, and I believe our golf population is going to increase a lot,” said said.
    Natalie Gulbis (US) shot 69, Karrie Webb (Aust) carded 70, and Lexi Thompson (US) — who won by four strokes here last year — had a 71. Paula Creamer (US) shot 75.
    Korean Na Yeon Choi had a super day: “I had a great day.  I think the good thing is I started very early, first group, as it was a little bit cooler.
  “But in the afternoon, the heat affected my focus out there.  I think that's why I missed a couple of fairways on the back nine.
   “That's why I got one bogey out there.  But I don't have any regrets out there.  My putt was good.  After last week I had practiced a lot for short game, and I think it just paid off,” said Yeon Choi.

FIRST ROUND SCORES: 65 Stacy Lewis (US).
66 Ji Eun-Hee, Ryu So Yeon, Park Hee Young, Choi Na Yeon (S Kor).
67 Pornanong Phatlum (Thai), Lee Mi Hyang, Jenny Shin, Amy Yang (S Kor), Feng Shanshan (Ch).
68 Catriona Matthew (Scot), Karine Icher (Fra), Haru Nomura (Jpn), Lizette Salas (US), Carlota Ciganda (Sp); 69 Lydia Ko (NZ), Juleita Granada (Par), Azahara Munoz (Sp), Angela Standford, Danielle Kang, Brittany Lang, Gerina Piller, Natalie Gulbis (US), Anna Nordqvist (Swe), Lee-Anne Pace (SA), Ariya Jutanugara, Moriya Jutanugara (Thai), Choi Chella (S Kor), Jodi Ewart Shadoff (Eng).
70 Lee Ilhee (S Kor), Pernilla Lindberg (Swe), Ayako Uehara (Jpn), Karrie Webb, Dori Carter, Kris Tamulus (US), Tidapa Suwannapura (Thai), Beatriz Ricari (Sp), Christina Kim (US), Yoo Sun Young (S Kor).
71 Jessica Korda, Lexi Thompson, Morgan Pressel, Marina Alex, Austin Ernst (US), Suzann Pettersen (Nor), Laura Davies (Eng), Mirim Lee, Hur Mi JIng (S Kor), Katherine Kirk (Aus), Line Vedel (Den), K. Muangkhumsakul (Thai), Candie Kung (Tai), Dewi Claire Schreefel (Ned), Jennifer Rosales (Phil).
72 Charley Hull (Eng), Caroline Masson (Ger), Lin Xi Yu (Ch), Michelle Koh (Mas), Laura Diaz (US); 73 Belen Mozo (Sp), Sandra Gal (Ger), Tiffany Joh (US), Oh Ji Young (S Kor), Ainil Johani Abu Bakar, Aretha Pan (Mas).
74 Kelly Tan (Mas), Kang Haeji (S Kor), Sarah Jane Smith (Aus), Kim Kaufman (US), Mariajo Uribe (Col); 75 Paula Creamer, Mina Hariage (US), Michele Low, Jean Chua (Mas); 79 Amelia Lewis (US).

Rio a million kilometres away for Malaysia

BY Jugjet Singh

IN these rainy days, this column is not being written to steal the ‘almost there’ thunder from the hockey team, but as an early warning that Malaysia’s chances of qualifying for the Rio de Janerio Olympics have reached the F mark in their fuel tank.
The Asian Games was the best chance for Arul Selvaraj’s men to play in Brazil two years from now, but the few near misses in Incheon might just see Malaysia sit out of the Olympics for 16 years.
For the 0-0 effort in the Asian Games semi-finals was erased when Pakistan won 6-5 in the shoot-out. And even though Malaysia only lost 2-1 in Group A and then 3-2 to South Korea in the bronze classification, there is no reason to celebrate the close shaves.
For, now Malaysia will have to play in the World League Semi-finals, and the early indications are that even South Korea and Pakistan are going to find this route difficult to reach Rio.
Those who claim that there was not enough time to prepare the team should look back and digest this fact — Pakistan didn’t play in any international tournament since November 2013 whereas Malaysia played in the Azlan Shah Cup, Champions Challenge 1, World Cup and Commonwealth Games.
Pakistan also almost did not travel to Incheon, as their troubled association did not have enough cash but somehow managed to string a budget at the 11th hour.
Malaysia, realistically, had been in training for the last two years for the Asian Games and the fourth place finish, as compared to Pakistan’s silver, has turned on the hazard lights.
The route to Rio is wet and slippery, and even Brazil who are now ranked 34th, must move to 30th in the world to be eligible to qualify as hosts.
The Asian Games was one of the five continental championships, and the other four qualifiers to Rio will be gold medallists from Africa, Oceania, Europe and South America.
And assuming Brazil break into the 30th, this will leave only six more spots to the Olympics and three each will be on offer in the two World League Semi-finals.
So Malaysia must finish among the top-four in the World League, and hope some of the continental champions finish higher than them, just like the route to the World Cup where they finished fifth in the qualifier but still made it.
This will be hoping against hope, so the World Cup disaster, the embarrassing Commonwealth Games and the almost there Asian Games must be taken as a challenge to improve and not wait on luck.
For this to happen, the players must have the heart to play like the Pakistan teams. They did not have any international exposure, no money, and almost did not travel to Korea but took home a silver medal at the back of a gold medal in the last Games.
And if the sound of three booming thunders this year does not wake Malaysian hockey up, the forecast is that there will be consistent rain and little sunshine as we slip and fall at every stage for the next decade.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Goalkeeper Ash pulls on pads for the Burras

Ash Thomas is preparing to pull on the green-and-gold.
Ash Thomas is preparing to pull on the green-and-gold.
NEWS LOCAL: Ash Thomas is the last line of defence, but he wouldn’t have it any other way, and his leadership at the back has earned him a guernsey in the Australian under-21 hockey team.
The 18-year-old from Baulkham Hills is used to playing representative hockey, and has close to a decade under his belt in the keeping pads.
Thomas, who plays representative for the NSW under-21s and Sydney, will be heading to Malaysia to compete at the Sultan Johor Cup with the Burras.
Ash Thomas is from Baulkham Hills.
Ash Thomas is from Baulkham Hills.
Ash Thomas is the last line of defence.
Ash Thomas is the last line of defence.
Thomas and his teammates have been selected to pull on the green-and-gold at this tournament as they are prospects for the 2016 Junior World Cup.
The Sultan Johor Cup is a chance for the Aussies to gain valuable first class international experience at junior level.
Australia’s Burras will face Great Britain, India, Malaysia, New Zealand and Pakistan in the six team round-robin competition in Johor Bahru, between October 12-19.
After departing on October 6, Thomas and his team will face Singapore and New Zealand in two warm-up games in Singapore prior to arriving in Malaysia on October 9.
And the young keeper is sure to be tested.
Flashback: Hockey runs in the family, Ash (with his younger brother Cody) in 2010.
Flashback: Hockey runs in the family, Ash (with his younger brother Cody) in 2010.
The Burras will be led by Head Coach Ben Bishop, who has served as an assistant coach to the senior men, the Kookaburras, for the past 18 months.
Hockey Australia’s National Junior Coach, Paul Gaudoin, who leads the program said: “The Sultan Johor Cup provides an opportunity for our young athletes to compete on an international stage at the only FIH-endorsed junior international competition outside of the Junior World Cup.”
“It’s a valuable opportunity for our athletes to be exposed to different international playing styles ranging from Asian teams to European teams, and Oceania teams, to experience different cultures, and to be exposed to all that goes on in and around international tournaments,” he said.
“Tours such as this allow us to assess our young athletes on an international stage, to help with their individual development to become Kookaburras of the future.”

India team for Sultan of Johor Cup

NEW DELHI (Times of India): Midfielder Harjeet Singh will lead the 18-member Indian Junior men's hockey team in the 4th Sultan of Johor Cup, to be held in Johor Bahru, Malaysia from October 12-19, Hockey India announced on Monday.
Defending champions India, who would be looking to retain their title, boost of names like Imran Khan, Gurinder Singh and Jarmanpreet Singh, besides Harjeet -- all four of whom have represented the Indian senior men's team at international level.
Forward Imran Khan will be the vice-captain of the side in the tournament.
The team was chosen by HI selectors BP Govinda, Harbinder Singh and RP Singh alongwith the coach of junior men hockey team Harendra Singh, coach B J Kariappa and physiotherapist Vinod Kumar on the basis of the performance of 33 junior men core probables during the selection trials conducted at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on September 19-20.
"The boys made us proud last year by winning the third edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup and looking at their current form during the training sessions, I am confident that the team picked by selectors is ready to repeat their successful feat," HI secretary general Narinder Batra said.
Sultan of Johor Cup will see a total of six teams -- Australia, Great Britain, Pakistan, New Zealand, Malaysia and India.
India will be facing New Zealand in the opening match on October 12, followed by Great Britain (Oct 13), Pakistan (Oct 15), Malaysia (Oct 16) and Australia (Oct 18).

The preparatory camp for the Sultan of Johor Cup is underway at the National Stadium since September 13 and will continue till the team's departure on October 9.

The list of players:

Goalkeepers: Abhinav Kumar Pandey, Subodh Tirkey.
Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh, Jarmanpreet Singh, Dipsan Tirkey, Anand Lakra, Varun Kumar, Gurinder Singh.
Midfielders: Santa Singh, Sumit, Harjeet Singh (Captain), SH Nilkantha Sharma, Simranjeet Singh.
Forwards: Imran Khan (Vice-Captain), Parvinder Singh, Pawan Kumar, Aarman Qureshi, Sumit Kumar.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Malaysia finish fourth

MALAYSIA finish fourth in the Asian Games after losing 3-2 to South Korea.
Semi-finals after 0-0 lost 6-5 on penalties to Pakistan.

Incheon Asian Games 2014
Men's Bronze Medal Match
Fulltime: Malaysia 2-3 Korea 

Jonghyun Jang 19'min (PC) - KOR
Youngjin Kim 30'min (FG) - KOR
Razie Rahim 34'min (PS) - MAS
Jonghyun Jang 43'min (PS) - KOR
Razie Rahim 44'min (PS) - MAS