The second leg of the semis for the MILO Cup will see two teams giving it one last push to upset the odds and prevent a pre-destined final that was already the pundits prediction before the Milo Junior League got underway in January.
Olak-PKT and Petaling Jaya City Council will be hoping to pull of stunning upsets to deny SSTMI Thunderbolt and UniKL Young Guns of a place in Sunday’s final.
Petaling Jaya CC have a fighting chance as they trail UniKL 5-2 from the first leg while Olak have a mountain to climb, as they are 6-1 down.
For UniKL manager, Mohd Faiz Isa, the battle is only half won as they still have 70 minutes to maneuver and he knows that in hockey things can change with the blink of an eye.
PJCC needs to score an early goal if they harbor any hopes of making a comeback and Faiz said the coaching staff of UniKL were well aware of this.
“That is why we need to be vigilant and hit them first as a goal by them early in the match will give them the much needed boost,” contends Faiz.
“We cannot allow them to take control of the second leg and at the same time must make chances count.”
For Thunderbolt, it will just be another 70 minutes of hockey in the second leg as their minds are already on Sunday’s final.
“We have a healthy lead and I cannot see us losing it. Hence what we need to do is go through the motion and look forward to the final on Sunday,” said coach Wan Roslan Wan Rahman.
“We need to avoid injuries and picking up cards and hence we will be making changes to the side, both before and during the matches to rest as many players as we can.
“I know there is still 70 minutes to go but I do not see us losing it with such a margin.”
Olak-PKT has had a dream run thus far and their coach and manager combination of S. Sivabalan and Joseph de Silva should be proud of the exploits of their players.
One can expect the Second Division side to come out with their guns blazing but even the staunchest of supporter will know that it is a lost cause.
“We made many errors in the first leg hence the big defeat. But we are not going to give them a free ride into the final,” said coach Sivabalan.
“It is a learning curve for the players and that is what I expect them to do, learn from their mistakes and improve on them.”