Sep 15, 2016

Dangerouslee lifts Sapura with winning goal

Sapura Hockey Club once again punctuated Tenaga Nasional Berhad’s fiery determination with a 2-1 victory in the final of the TNBMHL 2016 Knockout Tournament for the Tan Sri P. Alagendra Cup at the Tun Razak Stadium today.

This is the third time that Sapura, who won the RM70,000 winner’s cheque, defeated TNB with a 2-1 margin of victory. They won the first and return legs of the Premier League with similar scores.

Tenaga Nasional Berhad reached the final with a 3-2 win over Terengganu Hockey Team in the semifinals while Sapura outclassed Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) 4-1.

“I must credit my players for their fighting spirit. We were never far away and gave a good fight till the very end. There were too many cards and it affected both teams,” said Sapura coach Yahya Amin. “I hope this is our first step towards winning the Premier League.”

A dejected TNB Coach, Muhamad Amin Rahim, said the signs were clear it was going to be a tough day for his boys when they missed a penalty stroke in first quarter.

“It boils down to not scoring when we had the chances. I am very upset as we could have ended the day on a winning note. It is just not ours,” said Amin, as he sat silently in a corner after the final pondering the fate that befell on them. 

It was an uncompromising TNB that ventured bravely into Sapura’s territory more than three times in the first quarter and were rewarded with a penalty corner in the eighth minute. 

Drag-flick specialist Syed Mohamad Syafiq Syed Cholan packed through a powerful low push which incidentally struck a defender’s foot and umpire K. Ilango called for a penalty stroke. Unfortunately, Syed Mohamad fumbled from the spot as goalkeeper Mohamad Hairi was under no pressure to thwart the ball.

 Sapura, however, showed the pedigree which qualifies them to lead the current Premier League standings on 18 points, and earned their first penalty corner in the 15th minute just seconds before the hooter, and Muhammad Firhan Ashari struck from a penalty corner rebound, leaving goalkeeper S. Kumar out of reach with a low sweep.

TNB earned two penalty corners in the third quarter and made good in one as they leveled score in the 43rd minute with forward Shahril Saabah putting the ball through with a fine push.

But Sapura were determined not to let the opportunity slip and that chance came in the 53rd minute. They owed their greatest debt and gratitude to New Zealander Phillip Ross Burrow as the 36-year-old, who competed in four World Cups and at the 2004 (Athens), 2008 (Beijing) and 2012 London Olympics, was unselfish in the semicircle as he relayed the ball to Dangerouslee Mathew.

Lee, a former national junior trainee from Sarawak, blasted a powerful shot past Kumar that sparked celebrations. It was all over for TNB who fell for the third time against Sapura this season.

Meanhile, two former internationals - Hafifihafiz Hanafi and Megat Azrafiq Megat Termizi - received retirement benefits from Yayasan Hoki Malaysia Trustee Tan Sri P. Alagendra during the half time of the final.

Hafifihafiz, who has 139 international caps having represented the country for 12 years, received RM16,850 while Megat Azrafiq, with a 140 international caps under his belt and 10 years service to the nation, received RM15,500.

Sep 7, 2016

Thunderbolt youngsters taking centre-stage

"YOU can’t win anything with kids" is a very famous quote by Alan Hansen regarding Sir Alex Ferguson’s young Manchester United squad in 1996, which came back to bite him.

The young Devils used that quote as a rallying cry and went on to win the English Premier League that season, proving that there are no age barriers in sports.

Now here in Malaysia, current TNB Malaysian Hockey League Division 1 champions, TNB Thunderbolt will be looking to do the same as they stand a chance to defend their Division 1 crown.

Comprising only the best young players from the four sports schools under TNB’s Thunderbolt programme, this team will be looking to make history as they go head-to-head with the more seasoned professionals in the opposing teams this current season.

The four sports schools in TNB’s Thunderbolt programme are Tunku Ismail Sports School (SSTMI), Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS), Anderson and Pahang Sports School (SSP-MSP).

This new approach is aimed at giving; hopefully, the country's future hockey stars some invaluable experience through TNB’s strategic development project.

The team is led by ex-national stalwart Nor Saiful Zaini, who also coaches the Project 2020 development squad, and he is very confident that the selected players will give their best throughout the season.

"We have not set a target as our immediate objective is to blood these young talents in a competitive environment and to prepare for the upcoming Junior World Cup scheduled to take place in India in December," said Saiful.

"We have selected four to five players from each of the schools in the Thunderbolt programme. We hope the selected players will use the experience they gain to help their respective schools in the TNB Malaysian Junior Hockey League next year," he added.

Saiful confirmed that there is no centralised training for the players because all of them are still in school and it will not be feasible to have the players in for training just a few days before a match. They are brought together for training one day before every match day.

The coach, himself a star right winger during his playing days, strongly believes that exposing young players to competitive hockey on a weekly basis will help them prepare for next year’s TNB MJHL which promises to give the fans some high quality and exciting matches as the players will be out to impress the selectors as they strive to be included in the National Development and Junior squads.

The four Thunderbolt affiliated schools dominated the top four spots in this year’s TNB MJHL with BJSS Thunderbolt emerging champions beating SSTMI Thunderbolt in the final, while SSP-MSP Thunderbolt finished third place after a playoff against Anderson Thunderbolt.

This reflects the huge gains the TNB’s development programme has made. Its effectiveness is felt all around. The very best players from these four teams are making TNB Thunderbolt a force to be reckoned with in MHL Division 1 this season.   

Currently sharing the leader board with SSTMI with a record of 3 wins and 3 draws, the Thunderbolt boys will be looking to continue the team’s spectacular form throughout the second half of the season towards a consecutive Division 1 title.

Hockey fans throughout the country will be keeping their fingers crossed that this bold move by TNB will prove positive and produce the next generation of champions to compete consistently with the best on the world stage.

TNB and Sapura in Tan Sri Alagendra Cup final

KUALA LUMPUR (6 Sept, 2016): Tenaga Nasional Berhad reached the final of the Tan Sri P. Alagendra Cup Knockout Tournament with a quality performance to edge Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) 3-2 in the semifinals at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium today.

It was about the best ever performance from a side that is still struggling at the basement of the TNBMHL 2016 Premier League with just two points from six matches. Both teams played to a 4-4 draw in the first lap of the Premier League two weeks ago.

TNB owed their greatest debt of gratitude, though, to a certain extent to goalkeeper S. Kumar for keeping them in the game as THT could not beat Kumar in 16 of the 17 penalty corners they had and also in field goal attempts.

Tenaga Nasional Berhad’s victory puts them in showdown against Premier League leaders Sapura Hockey Club in the final on September 13 at the Tun Razak Hockey Stadium for the RM70,000 prize money. 

Sapura defeated Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) 4-1 in the second semifinals in Bandar Penawar after the match was tied 1-1 at half-time.  Sapura scored through Joel Samuel van Huizen (18th), Muhd Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin (40th), Australian Oscar Williams Wookey (41st) and Muhd Firhan Ashaari (44th). The Johor-based SSTMI, who are currently leading the Division One table standings, replied through Muhd Luqman Hakim Mohd Asri (22nd).

Sarjit Singh’s THT, the double champions last year and equally struggling to get their act together in the Premier League pooled a total of 17 penalty corners against TNB’s five but could only convert in one.

“I told the players to forget about the Premier League as we don’t have much of a chance of winning it and we must at least win one trophy and this is our best chance. I am very happy for the team as the boys gave their best to beat THT in this crucial semifinal,” said TNB head coach Muhamad Amin Rahim.

“It was a gallant performance from every player, especially goalkeeper S. Kumar. He was just everywhere to stop THT and words alone are not enough to express my happiness in this win,” he added.

He added that though TNB lost 1-2 to Sapura in the first and return leg of the Premier League respectively, they are all fired-up to change their fortunes in the final of the Tan Sri P. Alagendra Cup.

THT started the match with key striker Faizal Saari and six of their foreign signings but found TNB in defiant mood. Faizal, who received a red card in the Premier League match against Universiti Kuala Lumpur last week, has been suspended for two matches by the MHC Disciplinary Committee. He will not be eligible to play in Friday’s Premier League match against Maybank and Sunday’s encounter against Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club.

TNB, the only team without foreign players in the league, took the lead twice, only to let THT claw back before Syed Syafiq Cholan scored the winner off a penalty corner attempt with 10 seconds remaining. The final buzzer went off just as the ball sounded the board.

Syed Syafiq had earlier put his side ahead in the 15th minute, while the other goal was scored by Azammi Adabi (22nd).  The THT goals were scored by Jang Jung Hyun (21st) and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (42nd).

On Syed Syafiq, the TNB coach said: "He is the most improved player in the TNBMHL, and I believe he has a bright future in the national team provided he keeps pushing himself to the limit in every match."

Results – Tan Sri P. Alagendra Cup Semi-finals: Tenaga Nasional Berhad 3 Terengganu Hockey Team 2; Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School 1 Sapura Hockey Club 4.

Syahir Rosdi Tagih Sokongan Padu Peminat

Kuala Lumpur (6 September, 2016): Tekong muda negara, Mohammad Syahir Rosdi mengharapkan sokongan padu peminat dalam saingan Sepak Takraw League(STL) 2016 yang akan bermula penghujung September ini.

Syahir merupakan salah seorang pemain yang berjaya membantu skuad sepak takraw negara menamatkan penantian 10 tahun pingat emas dalam acara regu di Sukan SEA 2015 tahun lalu.

Sejajar dengan kempen hashtag #inimilikkita, pemain itu berharap sukan sepak takraw di negara ini juga akan meraih populariti sama seperti sukan lain untuk terus berkembang. Kata Syahir, “Sokongan dan semangat orang Malaysia sememangnya sangat tinggi kerana mereka mahu melihat kita mencapai prestasi yang terbaik. Permainan kita juga memainkan peranan untuk memastikan penyokong sentiasa menyokong kita”. 

“Saya harapkan sokongan kepada sukan sepak takraw juga sama dengan sukan lain seperti sukan bola sepak yang sentiasa mendapat sokongan penuh daripada peminat,” ujar pemain dari Pulau Pinang yang baru berusia 20 tahun itu.
Pemain tinggi lampai itu bagaimanapun mengakui minat dan sokongan terhadap sukan sepak takraw di negara ini lebih rendah berbanding negara jiran,Thailand. Katanya, “Di Thailand, peminat mereka sangat berbeza. Mereka sangat fanatik dan saya harapkan peminat di Malaysia juga akan sentiasa menyokong sukan sepak takraw sama ada kita naik atau turun kerana kita perlukan sokongan padu daripada peminat”.

Syahir berharap STL adalah medan terbaik dalam “memulihkan” sokongan peminat terhadap sukan ini sekaligus mengembalikan fenomena ketika era 80-an dan 90-an di mana ribuan peminat akan memenuhi ruang duduk stadium untuk menyaksikan perlawanan sepak takraw pada waktu tersebut.

Kata pemain yang dikenali dengan gelaran “Panjang”itu lagi, “Bagi menarik sokongan peminat, televisyen perlu menyiarkan setiap perlawanan sepak takraw dan menganjurkan kejohanan sepak takraw yang besar dengan hadiah yang lumayan. Bagi saya STL adalah platform terbaik ke arah itu selain mengasah bakat pemain tempatan. Melalui STL saya harap penyokong dapat kembali menyokong sukan ini”.
Tambah pemain itu, dia turut mengharapkan prestasi dan komitmen pemain sepak takraw sentiasa berada pada tahap terbaik kerana melalui kejayaan ia akan membantu menarik sokongan peminat terhadap sukan sepak takraw.

Ujar Syahir lagi, kejayaan akan melahirkan perasaan bangga daripada peminat terhadap sukan tersebut. Katanya, “Untuk mengekalkan kebanggaan rakyat terhadap sukan ini, pemain perlulah menunjukkan permainan terbaik untuk meraih kejayaan. Selain itu, siaran langsung di televisyen juga dapat membina perasaan bangga rakyat terhadap sukan sepak takraw”.

Syahir bakal beraksi bersama Pulau Pinang dalam saingan STL 2016 yang akan bermula pada 30 September ini di Stadium Majlis Perbandaran Serdang.

Aug 30, 2016

KLHC, TNB mahukan kemenangan

Kuala Lumpur (29 Ogos 2016): Kelab Hoki Kuala Lumpur (KLHC) mahu memastikan dapat meraih kemenangan apabila bertemu musuh tradisi Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) esok sekaligus meneruskan kemaraan kesaingan separuh akhir untuk merebut Piala Tan Sri P Alagendra.

Kedua-dua pasukan sedang berdepan masalah prestasi dengan KLHC sekadar meraih keputusan seri pada dua perlawanan terakhir Liga Premier sementara THT lebih malang apabila tewas 0-2 kepada Sapura semalam sekaligus kekalahan kedua selepas empat perlawanan.

Kedua-dua pasukan adalah finalis pada tahun lalu untuk saingan kalah mati ini dengan THT muncul pemenang, tetapi kali ini sama ada KLHC atau THT saja yang akan mara kesaingan separuh akhir.

Pengurus KLHC Ahmad Anuar Sham Kamar berkata, barisan pemainnya tidak mempunyai pilihan lain selain perlu mencatatkan kemenangan apabila bertemu THT esok di Stadium Hoki Batu Buruk sekiranya mahu beraksi di pentas final sekali lagi.

"Bagi saya, barisan pemain sudah mempamer aksi terbaik di saingan liga, tetapi keputusan akhirnya tidak memihak kepada kami.

"Sudah tentu kami mengharapkan kemenangan apabila bertemu THT. Kami memang tidak mahu kalah lebih awal.

"Apapun, kami tetap menghormati THT selaku juara bertahan dan saya jangkakan perlawanan pasti sengit," katanya.

Sementara itu, ketua jurulatih Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) Muhamad Amin Rahim berharap barisan pemainnya meneruskan rentak cemerlang mereka pada saingan liga di suku akhir bertemu Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) esok.

"Kami akan menganalisis corak permainan lawan dan akan melakukan strategi tertentu apabila bertemu UniKL nanti.

"Pada saya, antara kedua-dua pasukan, siapa yang benar-benar mahukan kemenangan, maka mereka pasti akan menang," katanya.

Piala Tan Sri P Alagendra
Esok (30 Ogos 2016)
Politeknik Malaysia lwn SSTMI, 5 ptg
(Stadium Hoki Taman Daya)
THT lwn KLHC, 5.30 ptg
(Stadium Hoki Batu Buruk)
ATM Airodlwn Sapura, 8 mlm
(Stadium Hoki Pantai)
UniKLlwn TNB, 6ptg
(Stadium Hoki Pantai)

Kugan shows the way for Senil Solutions

SENIL Solutions kept up their winning ways by cruising to a 3-0 victory over Gurstick in Division 3B of the TNB-QNET Selangor Hockey League.

Former national team captain Kugan Shammuganathan opened scoring in the 41st minute via his trademark penalty corner while Mohd Dehya Abdul Halim (58th) and Keshminder Singh struck with late goals.

The victory catapulted Senil to the top of the standings, edging Good Wood on goal difference. Puchong HC also  kept pace with the group leaders by overcoming Synergy SIA 1-0 over the weekend. Mohd Noor Khairul Azrin Adnan scored the solitary goal in the 46th minute to give his team the full points.

SELAYANG B defeated Highlander Hockey Club 2-1 to keep pace with the leaders in Division 3A.  Mohd Zakry Mohd Yussof scored a brace (15th and 36th minutes) for Selayang but  Highlander was duly rewarded with a penalty corner which former international Jayamaran Mayavan put it past goalkeeper Rohayuddin Abdul Rashid. 

Highlander, however, stepped up a gear in the fourth quarter but failed to make any breakthrough as Selayang went on to celebrate victory.

Synergy HC grabbed second spot with a 3-1 win over KIE Hockey in a closely contested match. Synergy's Mohd Hafiz Nasir gave his team the lead via a third minute penalty corner , Sivanesan Nadarajah made it 2-0 from a penalty stroke before Hafiz returned to score his second goal five minutes into the third quarter. 

 KIE‘s only goal came through Ahmad Safar Hassan in the 51st minute.

Results - Division 3A: Highlander HC 1 Selayang B 2; River Blue K Sgor 8 Jalak Lenteng  2; Synergy HC 3 KIE HT 3-1; Gombak Rovers 0 IIUM Mustang 3.
Division 3B: Senil Solutions HC 3 Gursticks 0; Puchong HC 1Synergy SIA 0.
Division 5: Team Sepang 1STAR Klang 5; SM Sains Alam Shah A 0 SM Sains Selangor 14; Pengkalan Permatang HT 27 SM Sains Alam Shah B 0.

Aug 29, 2016

TNB put on gallant fightback to snatch late draw

KUALA LUMPUR (28 August, 2016):  Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) left it late before snatching a well deserved 2-2 draw against Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) in their TNB Malaysian Premier Hockey League match at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Association (KLHA) Stadium in Jalan Pantai on Sunday.

It was the second match on the trot, and against weaker and younger opposition, that KLHC dropped points after a 1-1 match against Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) on Friday.

But nothing should be taken away from TNB, as their gallant second half display showed that they have the motivation and drive to battle it out with the best in the league.

In other Premier League matches played, Sapura beat Terengganu Hockey Team 2-0 and Maybank came back from a goal down to beat UniKL 2-1 at KLHA.

The win sees Sapura go top of the league with nine points, KLHC are second with eight points, Maybank are third on six, THT and UniKL have four points each while TNB are bottom with 2 points.

KLHC went ahead through a well taken field goal from Spanish striker Pedro Lopez-Alonso in the fifth minute. The Kuala Lumpur side was running the show in the first half with Pakistan’s Mohd Umar Bhutta and Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor proving a handful for the TNB midfield and defenders.

TNB's first real chance of the match came in the 21st minute when Arif Sabron broke free in the box, but KLHC goalkeeper Muhd Shafie was quick off his mark to clear the danger.

KLHC then went 2-0 up when South Korean flicker Hyunwoo Nam expertly placed his shot in the top left corner in the 39th minute, his second goal in as many matches.

Muhd Shafie came to KLHC's rescue again, when he left his line early to challenge TNB's Mohd Hafizhuddin Zaidi and cleared the danger.

TNB finally got the goal they deserve in the 53rd minute when Syed Mohd Syafiq Syed Cholan blasted home his penalty corner to the top right of the goal.

Minutes later, TNB had a chance to level the match after some excellent dribbling from Nik Mohd Aiman on the right, but his pass across the goal mouth was cleared by the defence with Muhd Shafie well beaten.

TNB got the goal they deserved for an inspired second half fightback when Muhd Firdaus Omar deflected his shot in from a powerful shot into the box in the final minute of play.

Coach Muhd Amin Rahim was more than pleased with his team's performance, especially as since it follows another strong showing in the 4-4 draw against THT on Friday.

"I am very happy with our performance. Against THT we played very well as well, and that is what is important for us. They are a superior side to us and giving them a run for their money is the most important thing. A win is a bonus, and a draw is like a win for us," said Mohamad Amin.

For KLHC, the result will give coach Muhd Harun Al-Rahid Samri a lot more to ponder as his team failed yet again to take advantage against their rivals, despite taking the lead.

"There is just not enough time to recover between matches as they are very close. We travel to Terengganu tonight and play THT in the Tan Sri Alagendra Cup on Tuesday. After that, I will have time to address this issue.

"Hopefully, when I highlight this problem to the players, they will recognise and understand it.  To me, as long as we give the opponents room to play and not close them down, we are giving them room to get back into the match," added Muhd Harun.

At the Tun Razak Hockey Stadium, Sapura stunned defending champions THT with penalty corner goals from Firhan Ashari in 23rd minute and Oscar William Wookey in the 30th minute.

In the late match at Jalan Pantai, UniKL went ahead in the fifth minute through Australian striker Adrian Coster's field goal but Maybank hit back through import flicker Juan Valeriano in the 15th and 41st minute.

Meanwhile, the race for the Division One title moves into top gear with three teams in a neck-to-neck race as the league enters into the final lap of the first round today.

Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) defeated ATM Airod 6-2 on home turf to take over the top spot from TNB Thunderbolt in the standings with 12 points after Thunderbolt were held to a 4-4 draw by Nur Insafi in Sungai Petani, Kedah.

Thunderbolts catapulted to the top of the TNBMHL 2016 Division One challenge on Friday by brushing off Ipoh Municipal Council (MBI) 4-1 but failed to continue the momentum today against Nur Insafi and the one point earned puts them second behind SSTMI.

Politeknik Malaysia also played to a 1-1 draw against Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM-KPT) at the Tun Razak Stadium and amassed 11 points to go third in the chart. At the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium, Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) thrashed Municipal Council (MBI) 7-3 for their first ever win in the league in six matches. BJSS led 4-3 by the third quarter.

ATM Airod opened scoring in the seventh minute against SSTMI through Mohd Szuhairi Kamal before SSTMI struck back with goals from Kamaruddin Kodir Beraheng (15th and 54th) and Azhad Akmal (26th and 28th) while Mohamad Hanis Saad (35th) and Zulhamizan Awang Abas (53rd) scored one apiece. ATM’s second goal came from Mohamad Nain Mohamad Joher in the 36th minute off a field goal.

TNB Thunderbolt led 4-3 by the fourth quarter until Pakistani Kashif Ali scored a hat-trick to equalize for Nur Insafi in the 52 minute from a penalty corner to share the spoils. He had earlier scored penalty corner goals in the 32nd and 37th minutes while Nur Rahull Hriskesa added one (29th minute), his fourth goal in the league. 

Muhamad Idris Samad scored a brace for Thunderbolt (28th and 35th minutes) with Hazzim Amin Hafidz (17th) and Faiq Razin Zariq (50th) contributing to towards Thunderbolt’s goals. 

Three Division 1 teams - Politeknik Malaysia, SSTMI and ATM Airod will go into action on Tuesday in the quarterfinals of the TNBMHL Knockout tournament for Tan Sri P. Alagendra Cup.

Politeknik Malaysia faces SSTMI at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Baru and ATM Airod entertains Premier League outfit Sapura Hockey Club at the Kuala Lumpur HA Stadium in Jalan Pantai. 

Results - Premier League: KLHC 2 TNB 2; Sapura 2 THT 2; UniKL 1 Maybank 2.
Division One: Nur Insafi 4 TNB Thunderbolt 4; ATM Airod 2 SSTMI 6; UiTM-PKT 1 Politeknik Malaysia 1; MPI 3 BJSS 7.