Kuala Lumpur (12 May, 2017): Anderson Thunderbolt crushed League champions Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya‘s (MBPJ Tigers) run in the Malaysian Junior Hockey League for the TNB Junior Cup following a 3-2 victory in the quarterfinals at the MBPJ Stadium today.
It was Anderson’s second appearance in the semi-finals of the TNB Junior Cup. They defeated UniKL Young Guns in the quarterfinals last year but lost 5-4 to overall champions Bukit Jalil Sports School Thunderbolt in the last four.
It was also a ‘winning day’ for three other TNB Thunderbolt teams in the quarterfinals. Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School defeated SMK Dato Bentara Luar Johor Juniors 5-0 in Batu Pahat, Pahang Hockey Academy edged SSTMI Juniors 3-1in Kuantan whilst BJSS pulverised Division Two champions Sabah Sports School Malaysia 6-2 at the Pandamaran Stadium in Klang.
In Sunday’s semi-finals at the Tun Razak Hockey Stadium, Anderson, who finished fifth in the league, go face to face against Pahang Hockey Academy whilst BJSS Thunderbolt plays 2016 league champions SSTMI Thunderbolt.
MBPP Tigers defeated Anderson 3-1 in the 2017 league but found the going tough this time around as the Ipoh-based school grabbed the lead in the 4th minute via a Muhammad Najme Ahmad Hayazi field goal. MBPJ, however, clawed back with two penalty corner goals through Muhammad Nur Asyraf Ishak in the 20th and 42nd minutes to go 2-1 ahead in the third quarter.
Defensive error in the 45th minute by MBPJ, whose players came under pressure to cross the quarterfinal hurdle after winning the league just a week ago, proved costly as Anderson bounced back to equalise through Muhammad Aiman Shahmi Marzuki from a penalty corner and with nine minutes before the end Muhammad Aliff Ikhemal Zamri netted the winning goal from open play.
“I praise the boys for playing to instruction and commitment. We played at a much higher level today. We knew MBPJ were strong in penalty corners and we curtailed their attacking structure,” said Anderson head coach M. Kaliswaran.
“We will face Pahang Hockey Academy in the semi-finals and it going to be another tough game for us. PHA has been playing well in the league. We lost 3-1 to them in the league and the players have a great chance to qualify for the final if they play the same kind of game as today,” he added.
A dejected MmPJ (MBPJ) Tigers head coach, Mohd Harfizi Baharom, said: “We played badly today. Nothing really went right against Anderson. I think the players were under tremendous pressure to maintain their winning run after lifting the league title last week. I am really disappointed.”
Over in Batu Pahat, Muhammad Akhimullah Anuar Esook scored a brace against Johor Juniors to SSTMI their second won over their arch rivals. STTMI Thunderbolt and Johor Juniors drew 1-1 but prevailed 4-2 in penalty shootouts.
BJSS coach Lokman Yahya, observed: “The team played more than 100 percent in the match. It is good that we beat them by scoring six goals and I am confident my players will play much better against SSTMI in the semi-finals.”