DEFENDING champions SSTMI-Thunderbolts and UniKL Young Guns have virtually sealed their places in the Milo Cup final following impressive wins in the semi-finals first leg at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
SSTMI, the league champions, thrashed Olak-KPT 6-1 in an one-sided affair while UniKL overcame Petaling Jaya City Council (PJCC) 5-2.
Penalty corner specialist Aminuddin Mohd Zain scored in the the third, 21st and 64th minutes to complete a hat-trick while Azril Misron (24th), Amirol Aideed Arshad (37th) and Luqman Nul Hakim Shukran (59th) completed the SSTMI rout.
Mawardi Harmirin replied for Olak with a field goal in the 47th minute.
"We got the result we wanted so I will rest some key players, especially those with yellow and green cards, for the second leg on Friday (tomorrow). I am happy with my team's performance as three of six goals were scored from penalty corners," said SSTMI coach Wan Roslan Wan Abdullah in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Olak coach S. Sivabalan reminded his players not to concede an early goal yesterday but they did just that and things fell apart.
"We tried our best to match SSTMI but they were better in all aspects of the game. We have achieved our target and will play in Division One next season so reaching this far in the tournament is a bonus," said Sivabalan.
In the other semi-final, UniKL played an intelligent game and could have won by a bigger margin.
UniKL were awarded a penalty stroke in the ninth minute when PJCC captain Zul Pidaus Mizun stopped the ball on the line with his body and was sent to the sin bin. He will miss the return leg as he has collected eight demerit points.
UniKL's Shafirul Aqmar Saiful stepped up and slotted home for the lead. However, PJCC replied through Mohd Helmi Jaafar off a penalty corner set-piece in the 16th minute.
Despite the setback, UniKL regained the lead when captain Nor Azrul Abdul Rahman converted a penalty corner in the 33th minute before Norshafiq Sumantri added a third in the 40th. PJCC managed to reduce the deficit through Helmi in the 52nd minute but UniKL raced ahead with goals from Mohd Haikal Zamri (58th) and Shafirul (63rd) for the comfortable win.
"I am happy with how they played but there is still room for improvement as we made far too many errors in defence. We must play better in the return leg," said UniKL manager Mohd Faiz Isa.
Defending champions SSTMI-Thunderbolt and Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) look set to contest in Sunday’s final for the overall title in the MHC-Milo-NSC Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL).
Both teams have healthy leads after the first leg of the semi-finals at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Wednesday.
Thunderbolt carved out a comprehensive 6-1 win over Olak-PKT while UniKL had a tougher time before emerging 5-2 winners over Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ).
The return leg matches on Friday are likely to be just a formality for Thunderbolt and UniKL.
The UniKL-MBPJ tie was a close affair and the university team edged it with their clinical finishing.
UniKL took the lead in the ninth minute when Mohd Hafih Elkan converted from the spot, easily beating goalkeeper Mohd Shukor Safie.
MBPJ were back on level terms in the 16th minute through a Mohd Helmi Jaafar direct hit off their first penalty corner.
UniKL regained the lead in the 33rd minute, with Nor Azrul Abdul Rahman scoring a penalty corner goal.
Nor Azrul was green-carded two minutes later and will have to sit out the return leg match.
MBPJ’s Zul Pirdaus Mirzun will also miss the next two matches after earning two yellow cards.
Goals by Norshafiq Sumantri (40th), Mohd Haikal Zamri (58) and Mohd Shahfirul Aqmal (63rd) gave UniKL a healthy 5-1 lead before Helmi added a second for MBPJ off a penalty stroke in the 53rd minute.
UniKL manager Mohd Faiz Isa was happy with his team’s performance.
“I have said many times that they are capable of playing good hockey and today they did just that. It is a good win ... we have a three-goal advantage for the return leg. It is not over yet, but at least we’re in control,” he said.
In the other match, Mohd Aminuddin Mohd Zain bagged a hat-trick (3rd, 21st and 64th minutes) to help Thunderbolt to victory.
With 16 goals in the bag, Aminuddin is sure to bag the top scorer’s award this year.
Thunderbolt’s other goals came from Azril Misron (24th), Mohd Amirol Aideed (37th) and Lukman Nul Hakim (59th).
Marwadi Hamirin scored Olak’s consolation goal in the 47th minute.
Thunderbolt team manager Adam Izamry Idrus is glad to have such a big lead after the first leg.
“Yes, it is good ... we are happy. We need to keep the winning momentum going,” he said.
SSTMI Thunderbolts are poised to claim their fifth consecutive Junior Hockey League Division One title when they face Kuala Lumpur HC at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru today.
KLHC -- who have won only once -- will be cannon fodder for the unbeaten Thunderbolts, who have scored 30 and conceded just once in the league.
"I believe the match is purely academic, but we will need to claim victory in the first half itself, as allowing any team too much of time and space can spell trouble," said Thunderbolts coach Wan Roslan Wan Rahman.
Thunderbolts, Petaling Jaya City Council and UniKL Young Guns have all qualified for the knock-out Milo Cup.
Three teams -- Malacca High School, KLHC and Anderson -- are in the running for the fourth and final spot from Division One.
As for Division Two, the top-two teams from Groups A, B and C will qualify for the knockout stage, where only four will advance to the Milo Cup.
TODAY -- Division One: SSTMI Thunderbolts v KLHC (Taman Daya, 5pm).
Division Two A: 1Mas Penang v Bakat MSSK (USM, 5pm), MSSP-USM v STAR (USM, 7pm), PHKS v Matri (Alor Star, 5pm).
Division Two B: Larut Matang v Padang Midin (Kuala Kangsar, 5pm), Felda Temerloh v 1Mas Perak (Temerloh, 5pm).
Division Two C: SMK Datuk Bentara Luar v Tunku Besar SS (Batu Pahat, 5pm), BJSS v Sains Johor (Education Ministry, 5pm).
SSTMI-Thunderbolt look set to retain their Division One MHC-Milo-NSC Malaysian Junior Hockey League title.
They play KLSS-KLHC in their final league match and even a draw will see them seal their fifth league title in a row. They already have four overall titles in their bag. They are not expected to falter at the last hurdle on Friday at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Baru.
Their consistency in winning is the result of strong support from the school and the financial clout of Tenaga Nasional, who also provide expertise in technical aspects.
The other Division One teams are still lagging. Even UniKL, with their panel of coaches which include A. Arulselvaraj, Mirnawan Nawawi, Mohamed Nasihin Nubli and M. Nadara cannot match the champions.
The SSTMI, formerly known as Bandar Penawar Sports School, found the right tonic to success when they won the support of sponsors Tenaga Nasional, and changed their name to Thunderbolt.
They have not looked back since, winning the league title in 2010, 2012, 2013 and three overall titles from 2011 to 2013.
This season, they are unbeaten after five matches with a whopping 30 goals in Division One, and are expected to have an easy time against KLSS who only have one win after four matches.
“We are fortunate that we have an ally in Tenaga Nasional. The collective effort with them has kept us at the top for the last five years,” said coach Wan Mohamed Roslan Wan Abdul Rahman.
“We still have to defeat KLSS to win the title and I am sure it will be a formality tomorrow. The players always knew that defeating UniKL was the key and I am glad they played well to win convincingly,” he said.
While the title will be decided Friday, the other feature this weekend is the fight for second place in the league.
Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) and Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) will be fighting for second place when they meet on Saturday. The winner will clinch the second place.
MBPJ, who were runners-up last year, play their last league match and know that nothing short of a win will suffice.
For UniKL it is back to the drawing board after their humiliating 1-4 defeat to Thunderbolt last Saturday.
Coach Mohd Rodhanizam Mat Radzi will have to try harder to get his team working as a unit. Their inability to perform as a team stood out like a sore thumb in the match with the champions. In addition, UniKL have been lamenting their weakness in the penalty corner department but have yet to do anything about it.
“Thunderbolt exploited our weakness (last week) and we paid the price for missing chances in the first half. We will now try to win the runners-up spot and focus on the knockout stages but we need the players to have confidence in their abilities,” said Rodhanizam.
“If we can keep the mistakes down and capitalise on the chances up front, then we stand a good chance at winning,” he said.
UniKL will wrap up their league match against Anderson on Sunday
UNIKL Young Guns will face an early test in Division One of the Junior Hockey League against Malacca High School (MHS) at the Malacca Stadium today.
Having only played one game so far despite the JHL entering its third week, UniKL have yet to find their footing as they struggled to beat KL Sports School 2-0 two weeks ago.
UniKL are wary of the pitfalls that await them in Malacca as MHS have the tendency to raise their game and stun any team that are overconfident.
"We have had a two-week rest where I worked on some of the shortfalls that were spotted against KLSS. I also emphasised on physical conditioning as the next few weeks will see us playing back to back matches," said UniKL coach Rodhanizam Radzi.
Rodhanizam, a former national player, knows that MHS will be hard to crack.
"We cannot even afford a draw as that will leave us trailing leaders Thunderbolts and that will not be good at such an early stage."
MHS have played three matches, drawing against Anderson 1-1 in their opening match before playing to a 2-2 draw against KLSS last Saturday. However, MHS lost 3-1 to Petaling Jaya Municipal Council in their third match.
Defending champions Thunderbolts are at the top of the Division One table, and will play PJCC in Taman Daya today.
Thunderbolts smashed Anderson of Ipoh 7-0 last weekend.
TODAY -- Division One: SSTMI Thunderbolts v Petaling Jaya CC (5pm, Taman Daya); MHS v UniKL Young Guns (5pm, Malacca).
Division 2A: 1MAS Penang v Nur Insafi (5pm, USM Stadium).
Division 2B: 1MAS Perak v KLSS Juniors (5pm, Azlan Shah Stadium); MSSD Larut Matang-Selama v Olak-PKT (5pm, Kuala Kangsar).
Division 2C: SM Sains Johor v SMK Datuk Taha (5pm, Batu Pahat); BJSS Juniors v Politeknik KPM (5pm, Ministry of Education Stadium Pantai).
Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) will be without experienced striker Mohd Azwah Abdul Rahman, but are still confident of getting a good result against Malacca High School (MHS) in their Division One match at the Bukit Serendit Hockey Stadium in Malacca on Friday.
UniKL will sorely miss Project 2013 squad player Azwah, who still nursing a hamstring injury, when they play only their second match in the MHC-Milo-NSC Malaysia Junior Hockey League.
UniKL coach Mohd Rodhanizam Mat Radzi said that Azwah needed more time to recover.
“He is still not fully fit. We will check on his condition and get the doctor’s advice before fielding him. For now, I feel that he needs more time to rest and heal,” said Rodhanizam.
UniKL are aware of the pitfalls awaiting them in Malacca as the High School are an unpredictable side.
UniKL struggled in their first game against KLSS-KLHC before prevailing 2-0.
MHS have played three matches, drawing two and losing one. They drew 1-1 with Anderson and 2-2 with KLSS before losing 3-1 to Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MBPJ).
“We’ve had two weeks to improve on our weaknesses. We’ve also worked on our physical conditioning because the next few weeks will see us playing back-to-back matches,” said Rodhanizam.
“We face a tough match in Malacca and I have reminded the players not to take things for granted. We can’t even afford a draw as that’ll leave us trailing leaders SSTMI-Thunderbolt.”
Rodhanizam said that a win would be a good morale booster for the players before their next game against defending champions SSTMI-Thunderbolt.
Meanwhile, leaders Thunderbolt will play their third match against second-placed MBPJ in Johor Baru today boosted by their 7-0 demolition of Anderson last week.
Thunderbolt coach Wan Mohd Roslan, however, said he would not take any team for granted “although we have won both our two matches so far”.
“The PJ team have been playing well ... I’m wary of the threat posed by them. They are also unbeaten so far and will fancy their chances against us,” he said.
Defender Mohd Aminudin Mohd Zain was dropped from the Junior World Cup squad last year after suffering a hamstring injury.
The Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI)-Thunderbolt player has since recovered and scoring consistently in the MHC-Milo-NSC Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL).
The Kelantan penalty corner drag flicker has scored four goals thus far – two each in the first two matches against SSTMI Junior (6-0) and Anderson (7-1).
He hopes to continue firing in the goals and help SSTMI-Thunderbolt retain the Division One title for the fourth consecutive time.
Thunderbolt’s next match is against former champions Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) at Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Baru on Friday.
Aminudin, who will turn 19 on May 23, plans on establishing himself as the number one penalty corner drag flicker in the MJHL.
“I want to score in every match ... to be the top scorer in the league. I aim to give my best and to be called up for the national junior training again.
“I was called up for the Project 2013 training squad last year but was dropped after suffering a hamstring injury,” said Aminudin, who has been playing for SSTMI-Thunderbolt for the last five years in the Under-19 league.
Aminuddin believes they can get the better of MBPJ “although they are a solid team”.
“We started off well in the league ... with two big wins, but it will be tough to score a handsome win against the PJ team. We want to continue playing consistently well and win all our matches. But that’s easier said than done,” said Aminudin.
SSTMI-Thunderbolt and MBPJ have maximum points from two matches but the Johor team lead the standings with a better goal difference.
MBPJ, who won the overall title in 2006, defeated Anderson 2-0 on Jan 12 before beating Malacca High School 3-1 last Sunday.
MBPJ face a tough weekend as they will also come up against SSTMI Juniors on Saturday in Johor Baru.
JUARA bertahan, SSTMI Thunderbolts bermula garang apabila membelasah SSTMI Juniors 6-1 pada aksi pembukaan Divisyen Satu Liga Hoki Remaja Kebangsaan di Stadium Taman Daya Stadium, Johor Bahru, semalam.
Jurulatihnya, Wan Mohd Roslan Wan Abdul Rahman puas hati dan percaya anak buahnya mampu menjaringkan lebih daripada enam gol.
"Secara keseluruhan saya berpuas hati. Cuma, pemain terburu-buru dengan peluang terhidang, jika tidak mungkin banyak gol boleh terhasil," katanya.
Gol Thunderbolt dijaringkan Mohd Aminuddin Mohd Zain m-13 dan m-31; Muhd Amirol Aideed Md Arshad m-23; Muhd Sufi Ismat m-37; Nik Muhammad Aiman Nik Rozemi m-39 dan Azril Misron, manakala Raja Muhammad Izzat Raja Hussin menghasilkan jaringan sagu hati lawan.
Sementara itu, di Stadium Hoki Pantai, Bangsar, Olak-PKT tiada masalah menewaskan KL Sports School Juniors-MSSSWP 6-0.
Pasukan pilihan Liga Hoki Remaja Kebangsaan (MJHL), UniKL Young Guns terpaksa bekerja keras sebelum berjaya meraih kemenangan 2-0 ke atas KLSS di Stadium Hoki Kuala Lumpur semalam.
Malah pada perlawanan tersebut UniKL Young Guns hanya mampu mendapatkan jaringan pada separuh masa kedua selepas gagal memanfaatkan beberapa peluang terhidang sewaktu babak pertama perlawanan.
Jurulatih UniKL Young Guns, Mohd. Rodzhanizam Mat Radzi turut mengakui penyudah pasukannya masih lagi tumpul hingga menyukarkan mereka untuk mendapatkan kemenangan dengan jaringan besar.
"Secara keseluruhannya saya mendapati pemain mungkin sedikit gementar dalam aksi pertama musim ini selain sukar memanfaatkan peluang mendapatkan jaringan dengan baik.
"Selepas ini saya akan memastikan penyudah pasukan lebih tajam untuk kami mendapatkan kemenangan, dan bagi kami jaringan dalam setiap perlawanan penting buat pasukan," katanya.
Dua gol UniKL Young Guns hadir menerusi Zizi Azwan Hassan Basri pada minit ke-39 hasil jaringan padang dan pukulan sudut penalti yang dimanfaatkan oleh Muhammad Firdaus Musa minit ke-49.
Melaka HS pula sekadar seri 1-1 menentang MBI-Anderson dan mereka akan menentang UniKL Young Guns pada 24 Januari ini.
Hari ini hanya satu perlawanan Divisyen 1 yang akan berlangsung melibatkan MBPJ menentang MBI-Anderson di Stadium Hoki Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia (KPM).
Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya (MBPJ) bergelut sebelum menumpaskan MBI-Anderson 2-1 dalam perlawanan Divisyen Satu Liga Hoki Remaja Kebangsaan (MJHL) 2014 semalam.
MBPJ yang merupakan naib juara musim lalu, tidak mampu menunjukkan kejaguhan sebenar seperti tahun lalu sehingga menjadi bualan peminat hoki di Malaysia.
Sebaliknya, permainan Anderson layak diberi pujian selepas dilihat begitu ampuh walaupun terpaksa beraksi dalam tempoh 24 jam apabila mereka seri 1-1 dengan Melaka HS kelmarin.
"Kami mempamerkan permainan yang kurang memberangsangkan tetapi sekurang-kurangnya kami berjaya meraih satu mata. Ini adalah perlawanan pertama kami dan kami sedikit bergelut untuk menyesuaikan diri," kata jurulatih MBPJ, Azlan Saufi Ahmad Sufian.
Mereka memperoleh jaringan pertama pada minit ke-19 menerusi jaringan padang yang disempurnakan Abdul Halim Jalil, sebelum Mohd. Helmi Jaafar menambah gol kedua selepas menyempurnakan pukulan penalti stroke pada minit ke-58.
Anderson berjaya mengurangkan defisit apabila memperoleh jaringan melalui Syamsul Azraf Shahnun Zubir tiga minit sebelum perlawanan tamat.
Sementara itu dalam saingan Divisyen Dua, Nur Insafi mencatat kemenangan 4-1 ke atas PH Kota Star untuk berada di tangga teratas Kumpulan A.
Di Stadium Pantai pula menyaksikan Sekolah Sukan KL berjaya memadam kekecewaan kalah 0-6 kepada Olak pada perlawanan pembukaan dengan mengalahkan Permatang Juniors 5-1.