The Sabah juggernaut continues in the MHC-1Mas-Milo-KPM National Under-14 Hockey Tournament at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium.
The defending champions clawed Kelantan 4-1 today to remain unbeaten in three matches after posting 5-0 and 3-1 victories over Perlis and Selangor respectively in earlier matches.
Sabah led 4-0 in the first half with goals from Noor Izzul Rahman (8th), Muhammad Salman Sudirman (12th), Muhammad Izaz Afdhaal (15th) and Ahmad Amza Masri in the 18th minute.
“We have played three consecutive matches in three days without rest and face another big test against Kuala Lumpur tomorrow (Tuesday). The boys know they have to win against KL who had a good rest today for tomorrow’s encounter,” said Sabah head coach Hasrul Jideh.
“If we beat KL the pressure is over for us and that is our focus now. We have to carry on this momentum and not let our guards down though the boys have played some energy-sapping matches. But Selangor still have a chance of qualifying and it will boil down between KL and Selangor for the second slot in the group for next round,” he added.
The East Malaysians lead Group A on nine points – three clear of KL and six points ahead of Selangor. Kuala Lumpur has two matches in hand – against Sabah on Tuesday and Perlis on Wednesday while Selangor, who defeated Perlis 3-1 today, play their last match against Kelantan on Nov 23.
Pahang forced its way back into the tournament by brushing aside Kedah 7-1 while Perak came through pulsating moments against Penang before closing the Group B proceedings with a 1-1 draw. Pahang share six-equal points with the silver state by lead the table standings with a goal difference.
In Group C, Malacca topped the table standings on six points following a Muhammad Zulhilmi Yazid’s penalty corner conversion goal over Terengganu in the 41st minute while Negeri Sembilan and Johor played out scoreless game. Johor are second in the pool with five points.
In the Girls category, Perak and Penang continued their winning ways here. Perak edged Malacca 2-1 at the Ministry of Education ground - their second straight win in Group A after sending defending champions Kuala Lumpur reeling to a 2-0 defeat last Saturday in the tournament’s opening match.
Noor Syahidah Mohd Said shot Malacca ahead with an 18th minute field goal but Perak clawed back through Dian Nursyakira Najwa penalty corner conversion two minutes into the second half to equalise and Siti Anis scored the winner via open play in the 46th minute.
Kuala Lumpur’s run in the tournament took a further blow when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Kedah and now face a daunting task of qualifying for the second round. Perak lead the table standings with six points followed by Malacca on three while Kuala Lumpur are third and Kedah last with one-point each.
The defending champions play second-placed Malacca on Wednesday in a match they need to win at all cost and in the process hope for a Perak victory over Kedah which would catapult them into the next round. However, all is not lost for KL but they can be assured that Malacca would not be in a compromising mood.
Penang raced to the top of Group B with six points in the pocket following a 2-1 victory over Pahang with goals from Firas Waffiyah Mohammad Anuar (16th) and Dayang Nur Atashah (19th) via open play.
Nur Insyirah’s 14th minute field goal kept Selangor in close distance with second-placed Pahang by registering a 1-nil win over Negeri Sembilan. Both Selangor and Pahang are tied on three-equal points.
RESULTS - BOYS
BOYS - Group A: Selangor 3 Perlis 1; Sabah 4 Kelantan 1
Group B: Pahang 7 Kedah 1; Penang 1 Perak 1
Group C: Malacca 1 Terengganu 0; Negeri Sembilan 0 Johor 0
GIRLS – Group A: Perak 2 Malacca 1; Kuala Lumpur 1 Kedah 1
Group B: Penang 2 Pahang 1; Selangor 1 Negeri Sembilan 0
Tuesday (22 Nov) - Boys Group A: Kuala Lumpur v Sabah (3.30pm, KPM); Perlis v Kelantan (3.30p, KLHA Stadium);
Group B: Sarawak v Perak (4.45, KPM); Penang v Kedah (4.45pm, KLHC Stadium);
Group C: Singapore v Johor (6.0pm, KPM); Terengganu v Negeri Sembilan (6.0pm, KLHC Stadium).
Girls – Group B: Penang v Negeri Sembilan (8.45am, KPM); Pahang v Selangor (8.45am, KLHC Stadium);
Group C: Johor v Sarawak (7.30m, KPM); Kelantan v Singapore (7.30aam, KLHC Stadium).