Saturday, June 30, 2018

IGP CUP: Terengganu moves into top gear

TERENGGANU qualified for the Division One semi-finals in the Inspector General of Police Cup (IGP Cup) Hockey Tournament at the Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium in Kuantan Saturday.
The east coach state defeated Briged Tenggara 2-1 and Negri Sembilan 3-0 respectively to lead Group B table standings with six points.
In a morning match against Briged Tenggara, Azrul Hisham fired Terengganu into the lead with a 29th minute field goal but Ahmad Nazri Senin restored parity for Briged Tenggara via a penalty corner conversion in the 39th minute. Terengganu, however, upped the ante in the 44th minute for the winning goal from a penalty corner conversion by Muhammad Ashraf Abdul Halim.
They returned in the evening to pulverise Negeri Sembilan 3-0. Azrul Hisham Zahari scored a brace (40th and 46th minutes) while Muhammad Ashraf added the third goal.
Negeri had earlier defeated Perlis 2-1 with field goals from M. Ravinder (4th minute) and Mohd Hafiz Pahror Radzi (24th). Perlis replied through Ruslang Nurain in the 34th minute.
Underdogs Melaka turned the opportunities into goals by carving a 2-0 win over Perlis in a Group B match. It was Perlis second straight defeat in the opening day of the tournament.
“We have only been training together for the last 10 days. It was a good win to earn three points but there is much room for improvement,” said Melaka team manager ASP K. Mahadevan.
“Our penalty corner conversions are at a low rate and I have instructed the coach to improve this area before we go into the remaining matches. We had six penalty corners but converted one,” he added.
Melaka scored through Suher Romzie Jamaluddin (26th minute) and Shamsul Arif Sulaiman (40th minute).
Sabah also earned a brilliant 3-1 victory over Kelantan in a Group A match. The East Malaysian state shifted into top gear after making a return to the tournament following a lapse of 22 years. Sabah last competed in the IGP Cup way back in 1996.
“We are competing once again after 22 years and expectations are certainly high on us. However, I am happy with our performance today and we hope to continue the momentum,” said team manager Supt Shahrul Amir. “We aim to qualify for the semi-finals. That would be a great achievement.”
Mohd Firdaus Abdul Ghani (20thth minute), Samsualan Samsudin (25th minute) and Rozaimay Amir (33rd minute) scored for Sabah via field goals. Kelantan replied through a penalty corner conversion by Mohd Hakimi Muhammad in the 42nd minute.’
In another Group A match, Kedah enhanced their chances of qualifying for the last four with a 2-1 win over Briged Utara.
Nine teams are competing in Division One of the IGP Cup.
Results – Division 1 Group A - Group A: Sabah 3 Kelantan 1; Kedah 2 Briged Utara 1; Group B: Negeri Sembilan 2 Perlis 1; Terengganu 2 Briged Tenggara 1; Melaka 2 Perlis 0; Terengganu 3 Negeri Sembilan 0.

                                P   W   D    L    F    A   Pts
SABAH                   1    1     0    0    3    1     3
KEDAH                   1    1     0    0    2    1     3
BRIGED UTARA    1     0     0    1    1    2     0
KELANTAN            1     0     0    1    1    3     0

                                      P    W    D    L     F     A   PTS
TERENGGANU             2     2     0    0    5     1      6
MELAKA                       1      1    0    0    2     0      3
N. SEMBILAN               2     1     0    1    2     4      3
BRIGED TENGGARA    1     0     0    1    1     2      0
PERLIS                           2     0     0    2    1    4       0

.. only goals to be decided

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian women's hockey team are tipped to win gold in the Hockey Series Open at the Seng Kang Stadium Sunday.
  Only, how many goals they will score against Thailand remains to be jotted down.
  Ranked 22nd and highest in the tournament, Malaysia have yet to lose to the world No 28 Thailand in the last 10 encounters.
  In fact, in 10 matches, Thailand has only managed to score two goals against Malaysia. The most recent was at the Hockey Series pool match, where coach K. Dharmaraj's charges won 4-0.
  "I believe we will prove our No 1 ranking in this tournament right. In the final, we just need to cut off Thailand's counter attacks, and half the battle would be won," said Dharmaraj.
  Dharmaraj fielded two 17-year-olds and one 14-year-old in the Open.
  And how has the three young ladies fared in Singapore? "My experience of being with the ladies team for 30 months indicate that they tend to take some time to mature and setle down.
  "That's one of the reasons I choose to field talented youth early. And amongh the three, Amira is into her third touranment and she finally looked settled with the others.
  "Syafi and Kirandeep (14) will need more time with the team."
  Nuramirah Zulkifli (Amira) has 15 caps, Nurmaizatulhanim Syafi 16 caps, and Kirandeep Kaur played on all five pool matches to earn her maiden caps.
  Nuramirah scored six goals, while Syafi two.
  Malaysia's only 'problem' in this tournament is wasting too many penalty corners and open chances before scoring. This could pose some problems in the Jakarta Asian Games where they will play against higher ranked teams.
  "Ladies generally do not have a 'killer instinct' in term of goal scoring, compared to men. This problem is not only confined to Malaysia, but the whole hockey playing world.
  "This tournament is definitely not to the level of the top-four Asian teams (India, China, South Korea, Japan). However, Hong Kong, Thailand, Kazakhstan and Indonesia will also be playing in the Asian Games and its good that we found out their true form early.
  "As for penalty corner wastages, I am trying to coach a world class drag flicker and that is one reason I keep going for direct flicks instead of using set-pieces.
  "Against stronger teams, we use many set-pieces but here I am giving a chance to my flickers to progress."
  From all teams competing in this first round, a minimum of 15 teams will qualify for one of three separate Hockey Series Finals. 
  Each of the Hockey Series Finals will have eight teams playing in them, and will take place throughout the world, with berths into the Olympic qualification events up for grabs.


        P       W D L GD Pts
Malaysia 4 4 0 0 39 12
Thailand 4 3 0 1 17 9
Kazakhstan 4 3 0 1 7 9
Singapore 4 1 1 2 3 4
Hong Kong  4 0 1 3 -17 1
Indonesia 4 0 0 4 -49 0