Former champions Perak qualified for the second round of the MHC-1Mas-Milo-KPM National Under-14 Hockey Tournament at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium today.
The 2013 champions edged Sarawak 2-1 to maintain an unblemished record of three wins and a draw. They humbled Kedah 3-0 in the opening match, defeated Pahang 2-1 and played to a 1-1 draw against Penang on Monday.
Defender and penalty corner specialist Saiful Shahril Bahri scored in the seventh and 15th minutes while Ben Bradley anak James Rojes replied for Sarawak in the 39th minute in similar fashion. Saiful is also the leading scorer in the tournament with six goals.
The Silver state topped Group B on 10 points – four clear of Pahang while Penang is third on five points. Pahang and Penang will tussle for the second spot in the group for the next round. Both teams play their last group match on Wednesday.
“We have played four matches without rest and I would have been happy even if we had drawn against Sarawak,” said Perak coach Abdul Hadi Adam. “I gave most of the reserve players a chance to play and they did well. Now we need to focus on the second round and move forward,” he added.
Adam, however, hopes three of his main players – Saiful, Aman Shahnan Maznan and Ahmad Akmal Ahmadaib will recover in time for Thursday’s second round matches.
Saiful is nursing a thumb injury while Aman and Ahmad have thigh injuries.
Defending champions Sabah completed their entire Group A matches unscathed. The East Malaysians dashed Kuala Lumpur’s hopes today to win 1-0, thanks to a Jencas Andawi ninth minute field goal strike. Sabah has 12 points – six clear of Kuala Lumpur.
The city boys are now involved in a three-cornered tussle with Selangor and Kelantan for the second spot in the group. Selangor and Kelantan have three points each while Kuala Lumpur will need a draw against Perlis on Wednesday to seal their hopes and in the process dampen Kelantan and Selangor ambitions.
Johor also advanced to the second round by pulverising Singapore 3-0 in Group C. Goals from Jayson@Mohd Shazlan Jainol (4th), Muhammad Hafiz Fikri (42nd) and Ronny Richard in the 48th minutes sealed Johor’s entry with eight points.
Malacca and Negeri Sembilan, with six and five points respectively, go into tomorrow’s final match which will decide who joins Johor in the second round.
In the girls division, Pahang and Penang qualified for the second round from Group A. Pahang defeated Selangor 1-0 with a Nurul Fatin Fatiah goal while Penang and Negeri Sembilan played out a scoreless draw. Penang topped the standings with seven points and Pahang six.
Johor continued its winning ways by crushing Sarawak 3-0 and emerged Group C champions with nine points, taking along with them into the next round Singaporeans who defeated Kelantan 2-0.
However, Group A matches will be decided on Wednesday. Kuala Lumpur will need to beat a rejuvenated Malacca to move into the next round while Perak and Kedah will decide their fate too.
BOYS - Group A: Sabah 1 Kuala Lumpur 0; Kelantan 3 Perlis 0
Group B: Perak 2 Sarawak 1; Penang 5 Kedah 0.
Group C: Johor 3 Singapore 0; Terengganu 0 Negeri Sembilan 0
GIRLS – Group B: Penang 0 Negeri Sembilan 0; Pahang 1 Selangor 0
Group C: Johor 3 Sarawak 0; Singapore 2 Kelantan 1
WEDNESDAY (23 Nov) - Boys Group A: Selangor v Kelantan (6.0pm, KPM); Kuala Lumpur v Perlis (6.0pm, KLHA Stadium),
Group B: Pahang v Penang (3.30pm, KPM); Sarawak v Kedah (3.30pm, KLHA Stadium).
Group C: Malacca v Negeri Sembilan (4.45pm, KPM); Singapore v Terengganu (4.45pm, KLHA Stadium).
Girls – Group A: Perak v Kedah (7.30am, KPM); Kuala Lumpur v Malacca (7.30am, KLHA Stadium).