Tuesday, March 10, 2015

World League: Malaysia 5 Singapore 0

NOTE: Malaysian men lost 6-0 to Australia national side in their Down Under Tour.

AS Expected, the Malaysian women's hockey team beat Singapore 5-0 to finish tops in Group B of the World League Round Two in New Delhi yesterday.
  After beating Kazakhstan 8-0, the Malaysian women went on to beat Russia 3-0 and then Singapore to enter the quarter-finals stage on a high.
   Malaysian will play winless Ghana in the last eight, and are expected to breeze into the semis where they are expected to face their toughest hurdle in Poland to lay their hands on one of the two tickets to the World League Semi-finals.
   For the record, the women have never qualified for the World League Semi-finals before.
   Yesterday, Fazilla Sylvester Silin started the Singapore rout with a field goal in the 24th minute, and she went on to notch a hat-trick with goals in the 32nd and 45th minutes. The other goals were scored by Rabiatul Mohamed (26th) and Nurul Mansur (41st).
    Malaysia had whacked Singapore 10-0 in WL Round One, so naturally coach Nasihin Nubli was a little worried: "We missed many scoring chances in the first quarter and our penalty corneers were also not very sharp today (yesterday). We can't afford this in the knock-out stages, so I will use the rest day before the quarters to re-drill these areas."
   The stakes are very high in New Delhi as only the finalists get another shot at qualifying for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro, while one more spot will be made available to the highest ranked team which finishes third in the World League Round Two tournaments around the world.
   "We should beat Ghana, and our likely semi-finals opponents are Poland going by the form of teams in Group A. We did play a friendly against Poland before the tournament and won 1-0, so nothing is impossible for my charges if they put their hear in the game," said Nasihin.

Pidaus the UniKL advantage...

UniKL Young Guns skipper Zul Pidaus Mizun is eager to face his former club Petaling Jaya City Council  (PJCC) in the MHC-Milo-NSC Milo Cup semi-finals at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil Wednesday .
  Last season, the 19-year-old skippered PJCC to a third place finish in the Milo Cup, and he is now looking to lead UniKL into the final.
  Pidaus missed out on the league encounter with his former club which ended in a 1-1 draw as he was suspended, and hopes his presence will see a better result for UniKL.
  “It was frustrating to watch the league match (against PJCC) from the stands. But here is another chance for me to go up against my former team-mates.
  “I know every player in PJCC personally and probably that can be considered as an added advantage for us," said Pidaus.
   However, it won't be easy for the university side as they will be missing the services of two key players for the first leg of the semis as Hafif Elkan is out due to injury while Norsyafiq Sumantri is suspended.
   Pidaus added: “Both of them play vital roles in the squad, so we will have to find a way to deal with the first leg without them.”
   PJCC will have their full squad, and head coach Azlansaufi Ahmad Sufian is aiming to make the final:    “They (UniKL) have a very strong squad with the backing of eight national juniors and with that stat alone it clearly shows that they have the upper hand against us.
   “However, on a positive note we held them to a 1-1 draw in the league and my players are now more confident than before and that is the plus point I hope will take us into the final."
    WEDNESDAY: Semi-finals first leg: SSTMI Thunderbolts v SSP-MSP Thunderbolts (National Stadium I, 5.30pm); Petaling Jaya City Council v UniKL Young Guns (National Stadium II, 5.30pm).