Kuala Lumpur (7 May, 2017): Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya (MBPJ Tigers) created a new chapter in the TNB Malaysian Junior Hockey League when they clinched the Division One League title for the first time at the MBPJ Stadium.
The champions defeated Bukit Jalil Sports School Thunderbolt 7-6 in penalty shootout after registering a 2-2 draw in regulation time. Under the tournament rules, two points are awarded to the winning team in a shootout and one point to the losing side. MBPJ have thus pooled 23 points – two points clear of Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School Thunderbolt whilst BJSS Thunderbolts amassed 19 points to go third in the standings.
Two other Thunderbolt teams – Pahang Hockey Academy and SMK Anderson finished in fourth and fifth spots respectively on 17 points while SMK Dato Bentara Luar Johor Tigers claimed sixth position (15 points) followed by Universiti Kuala Lumpur Young Guns (9), Olak-Nurinsafi (8), Politeknik Malaysia-KPT (5 points) and BJSS Juniors last in the 10-team league with just one point.
“This is unbelievable,” said an ecstatic MBPJ Tigers coach Mohd Harfizi Baharom. “I told the players before the start of the match that this is our only chance to win the league title and don’t let this chance go to waste.”
“They played hard to win the title and we are incredibly excited. We led 2-0 and I think the boys got carried away which allowed BJSS to comeback for the equaliser. This is something we must not allow to happen in the quarterfinals of the TNB Junior Cup for the Overall Championship,” he added.
Having beaten three Thunderbolt teams in the league namely Anderson Thunderbolt (3-1), SSTMI Thunderbolt (3-2) and Pahang Hockey Academy Thunderbolt (3-2) respectively, MBPJ went on the hunt with goals from Muhammad Syafiq Izzudin Ibrahim in the 19th minute from a field goal and Muhammad Nur Asyraf’s 37th minute penalty corner conversion.
BJSS Thunderbolt, however, regrouped in the third quarter and scored two consecutive goals within a space of one minute. Muhammad Ramdan Ariffin netted both goals from penalty corners in the 38th and 39th minutes.
A dejected BJSS Thunderbolt head coach BJSS Coach Lokman Yahya, however, commended MBPJ for their fight spirit and mental strength in keeping BJSS forwards at bay in this nail-biting encounter.
“We created a lot of chances and the boys can only blame themselves for letting this opportunity go away after SSTMI was held to a 1-1 draw by Johor Tigers,” he said. “There was a good chance of winning here,” said Lokman.
“Nevertheless it was a tough and exciting match which could have gone any way. We will now work on our mistakes here and hope to do much better in the quarterfinals stage to win the Overall Championship.”
In Batu Pahat, title contenders SSTMI played out a 1-1 draw against SMK Dato Bentara Johor Tigers in regulation time and then prevailed 4-2 in penalty shootout. Muhammad Adib Adam fired Johor Tigers ahead in the 47th minute with a field goal but SSTMI equalised through a Muhammad Ariff Syafie penalty corner four minutes later. In the shootout, Mohd Hanif Saad, Mohd Akhimullah Anuar Esook, Shello Silverius and Muhammad Amirul Hamizan were successful for SSTMI.
Anderson Thunderbolt triumphed 5-3 over UniKL Young Guns at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh. Muhammad Azrai Aizad scored two goals (20th and 52nd minutes) for Anderson while Ahmad Nazmi Mokhtar (29th), Muhammad Afiz Iqbal (35th) and Muhammad Akram Hakkam (38th) added a piece. As for UniKL Young Guns, the goals came through Muhammad Chairil Daniel (27th), Izzat Rais (46th) and Muhammad Hilmi Zulkifli (59th minute).
The combination of Olak-Nurinsafi defeated Politeknik Malaysia KPT 4-2 at the Pandamaran Stadium. It was Olak-Nurinsafi’s second win in the league.
The top six teams in Division One and the top two teams in Division Two qualify for the quarterfinals stage of the TNB Junior Cup for the Overall Championship which begins on Friday (May 12).
Muhammad Ikhmal Hakim Mohd Rodzi reduced the deficit in the 48th minute for SSTMI Juniors via a penalty stroke, but six minutes later Muhajir Abdu Rauf ended SSTMI Juniors hopes of a comeback by converting a penalty stroke to ensure the East Malaysians go home with a 3-1 victory.
Malacca Warriors defeated Perlis Young Lions 2-1 in the third-fourth placing match. Muhammad Afif Azfar Salim scored a brace in the 12th and 33rd minutes before Muhd Adam Akhir Elias replied for Young Lions.
RESULTS: Boys Division 1: MBPJ Tigers 2 BJSS Thunderbolt 2 (MBPJ Tigers won 7-6 in penalty shootouts); Olak-Nurinsafi 4 Politeknik Malaysia KPT 2; Anderson Thunderbolt 5 UniKL Young Guns 3; SMKDBL Johor Juniors 1 SSTMI Thunderbolt 1 (SSTMI won 4-2 in penalty shootout); BJSS Juniors 3 AHP-MSP Thunderbolt 5.
Division 2 - Final: SSTMI Juniors 1 Sabah Sports School Malaysia 3; 3rd-4th Placing: MSNSSN Young Lions 1 MBMB Warriors 2.
Fixtures - TNB Junior Cup Quarterfinals (12 May, 2017): MBPJ Tigers v Anderson Thunderbolt; SSTMI Thunderbolt v SMK Bentara Luar Johor Tigers; BJSS Thunderbolt v Sabah Sports School Malaysia; Pahang Hockey Academy v SSTMI Juniors.
Women League Semi-finals (14 May, 2017): SSTMI v MSN Kedah (4pm); MSSPP-PSHA-USM v Kuala Lumpur Sports School Wipers (6pm, both matches at KLHA Stadium).