Monday, July 2, 2018

IGP CUP: Briged Tenggara in semis

Briged Tenggara made a late comeback to defeat Negri Sembilan 4-1 and qualify for the Division One semi-finals from Group B in the IGP Cup Hockey Tournament at the Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium in Kuantan Monday.
   Both teams were tied on six points – three behind Terengganu before start of the game. It was a deciding match which eventually saw the much fitter Briged Tenggara capitalising on the many penalty corners.
Muhd Subri Abdul Rahman fired Negeri Sembilan ahead with a 34th minute penalty corner conversion but it was Briged Tenggara who went on to steal the show with goals from Mohd Riduan Zakaria (48th), Mohd Naim Ibrahim (55th), Wan Mohd Nazri Wan Abdullah (56th) and Muhamad Azrullah Azman (60th).
In tomorrow’s semi-finals, Briged Tenggara will meet Sabah while Terengganu, who coasted to a 2-1 win over Melaka in penalties after a 3-3 draw in regulation time, will play Briged Utara.
“I am delightred with the fighting spirit shown by the players. It was going to be a tough game from the beginnng as both teams are in the running for a semifinals berth,” said Briged Tenggara manager, Lance Corporal Jeremy Aloysious Maing.
Terengganu emerged Group B champions with 11 points followed by Briged Tenggara nine points, Negeri Sembilan (6), Melaka (4) and Perlis (0).
Suher Romzie scored for Melaka in the fourh minute  before Terengganu went to 2-1 ahead with goals from Muhamad Ashraf Abdul Halim (20th) and Mohd Syukry Ali (28th).
A rejuvenated Melaka then equalised through Mohd Faizal (43rd) and Mohd Hanif Aziman steered his side to a 3-2 lead with a field goal in the 45th minute. Terengganu avoided defeat with a 59th minute field goal via Azrul Hisham Zahari to level 3-3, pushing the match into penalties.
“Since we have already qualfied for the semi-finals much earlier I gave the reserves an opportuniy to play. It was a good game and I am happy with our performance,” said Terengganu team manager, Mohd Zailani Arifin.
Results – Group A: Kedah 1 Kelantan 0; Sabah 0 Briged Utara 0 (Sabah win 2-1 in penalties).
Group B: Briged Tenggara 4 Negeri Sembilan 1; Terengganu 3 Melaka 3 (Terengganu win 2-1 in penalties).  
                                P   W    D     L     F    A    Pts
SABAH                   3     3     0     0    5    1      8
BRIGED UTARA    3     1      0    2     4     3     5
KEDAH                   3     2     0     1     3    3      5
KELANTAN            3     0     0     3     2     7      0
                                       P    W    D    L     F      A   PTS
TERENGGANU             4     4     0    0    11     6     11
BRIGED TENGGARA    4     3     0    1    9       6      9
N. SEMBILAN               4     2     0    2    4       8      6
MELAKA                        4     1    0     3    6       9      4
PERLIS                           4     0     0    4    4        9      0

Good win, but difficult to progress on this path..

OLYMPIAN MANINDERJIT SINGH: MHC need to plan to qualify for women's Junior World Cup first...

The Malaysian women's team at Bukit jalil after arriving by bus from Singapore.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian women's coach K. Dharmaraj took a big gamble by fielding young players in the recent Hockey Series Open at the Seng Kang Stadium, but returned home yesterday smelling like roses.
  Very few coaches in the world would gamble with a 14-year-old; and two 17-year-olds, and Dharmaraj is among this elite few.
  Malaysia not only won gold, but also went on a scoring spree in all six matches, including the 6-0 hammering of Thailand where the youngest player in the squad Kirandeep Kaur scored her first goal of the tournament.
  "A day before the final I told Kirandeep that even though she has yet to find her touch after five matches, she should not be too stressed out and just be her normal self and she delivered," said Dharmaraj who led his team to silver in the World League Round Two in Kuala Lumpur last year.
  Admitting that this tournament did not challenge his players, Dharmaraj said it was still a morale booster ahead of the Asian Games in Jakarta.
  "We scored 51 goals in six matches, but missed just as many. This is what we need to improve upon as in the Asian Games we will be playing against higher ranked teams and will not get as many chances in a match.
  "However, its a good boost even though my defence was never placed under pressure, we got to test our attack and penalty corners.
  "We will rest for a week, after which its back to training and then head to Queensland (Australia) at the end of the month to play some friendlies there," said Dharmaraj.
  Former international Maninderjit Singh, who played in Malaysia's last Olympic appearance in Sydney 2000, said it's difficult to progress by playing weaker sides most of the times.
  "The women's team has shown regional progress and did realise their No 1 ranking in Singapore by winning gold.
  "But I know for a fact that it will be very difficult for them in the Asian Games because their opponents are right now playing in Europe against tougher sides while we are travelling on a weaker path.
  "India, China and Japan women played or are playing in Europe right now, and they will be better prepared for the Asian Games where MHC (Malaysian Hockey Confederation) are hoping for a semi-finals appearance.
  "I believe Malaysia need to have a better plan in future and not just look towards playing club sides in Australia to improve.
  "And for the women to climb onto the world stage, like the Asian Games medal or a World Cup appearance, MHC must first plan to qualify for the Junior World Cup.
  "Our women have yet to play in the Junior World Cup, and its too much to ask for, from these seniors, to break more glass ceilings if  Malaysia can't even qualify for the junior tournament," said Maninderjit Singh.

IGP CUP: Day of the underdogs?

The underdogs will be out to throw everything  in their disposal to redeem their pride in the Premier and Division One category in the IGP Cup Hockey Tournament that moves into its final lap of the preliminary round stage on Monday.
While Bukit Aman have a steady flow of former internationals in their stable,  the Premier Division Group A matches between Perak-Johor and Bukit Aman-Briged Tengah are expected to draw interest.
At stake is pride and semi-finals berths which Perak and Briged Tengah may not want to miss out on an opportunity after underperforming in their opening matches.
Briged Tengah have three points to show and Perak two.. Both teams played to a 1-1 draw today but Perak won 1-0 on penalties.
The Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Group B encounter is also expected to go to the wire. Both teams boast of experience and skillful players but the level of fitness will determine who wins the battle for a place in the semi-final.
As Kuala Lumpur team manager, DSP Jaswent Singh, observed: “There is virtually enough experience in both teams but we need to perform better to stay in the game. Fitness level is important.”
“The stakes are high and KL will need to get back on track. The 9-1 victory over Pahang was a good morale booster and we hope to play a much better game against Selangor,” he added.
Pulapol KL may not step on the accelerator against Pahang who suffered 7-2 and 9-1 defeats against Selangor and Kuala Lumpur respectively but it will be a big mistake should that happen as lurking closely behind are two teams in the form of Selangor and KL who aim to finish top of the group.
In Division One, the battle is still an open affair though Terengganu seems to have qualified much earlier from Group B with nine points from three consecutive wins. However, Briged Tenggara (6 points), Negeri Sembilan (6 points) and Melaka (3 points) are still in the running for semi-finals spot.
In Group A, Sabah are through to the last four while Kedah and Briged Utara will battle for the remaining berth.


Kuantan (1 July 2018): Former international Kevinder Singh scored six goals as Kuala Lumpur thumped Pahang 9-1 to keep their hopes alive of a semi-finals berth in the Premier Division of the IGP Cup Hockey Tornament at the Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium today.
The city cops, who suffered an ignominous 5-1 defeat against Pulapol KL, one of the top contender for the title, returned to form today in this Group B match to notch their win.
Kuala Lumpur, champions in 2014 and finished fourth in 2016, face Selangor in their last preliminary round group match tomorrow (July 2).  Both teams are tied on three points after two matches.
Kevinder, who last represented the national team in 2012, scored in the 7th, 12th, 22nd, 39th, 43rd and 58th minutes whilst Azlizam Ahmad Zaman (35th), Faharul Nazrey Harun (40th) and Muhammad Faiz Zuri (60th) scored apiece. Pahang replied through Reffey Ukim in the 26th minute via a field goal.
“We played a much better game today than against Pulapol on Saturday,” said Kuala Lumpur team manager DSP Jaswent Singh. “Now we need to defeat Selangor to qualify for the semi-finals. They are a good side too.”
For Pahang, it was their second big defeat in the tournament after going down 7-2 against Selangor.
Pulapol KL crushed Selangor’s hopes by carving a 3-1 victory to go top of Group B with six points.
Team captain Baljit Singh, a former international, scored a brace (29th and 39th minutes) through penalty corner conversions and Azrul Shah Ramli added one. Selangor’s solitary goal came from Hendryvon Mejerry of a penalty corner conversion in the 28th minut.
In the rain-interrupted Group A matches, defending champion Bukit Aman defeated Johor 5-1 to register their second win while Perak edged Briged Tengah 1-0 in penalties after posting a 1-1 draw in regulation time.
With six points in the bag, Bukit Aman are virtually through to the semi-finals. In Monday’s last Group A preliminary round matches, Bukit Aman goes up against Briged Tengah whilst Perak plays Johor.
Results – Group A: Perak 1 Briged Tengah 1 (Perak win 1-0 in penalties; Bukit Aman 5 Johor 1; Group B: Kuala Lumpur 9 Pahang 1; Pulapol KL 3 Selangor 1.
                                          P   W    D     L     F       A   Pts
BUKIT AMAN                  2    2      0    0     10    2     6
BRIGED TENGAH          2     1      0     1    2      2     3
PERAK                            2     1      0     1    2      6     2
JOHOR                            2     0      0     2    2       6     1

                                         P   W    D    L     F    A    Pts
PULAPOL KL                   2    2     0    0     8     2      6  
SELANGOR                     2    1     0    1     8     5       3
KUALA LUMPUR           2     1     0    1   10    6       3
PAHANG                         2     0     0     2    3     16    0