KUALA LUMPUR, (21 May, 2016): A three minute second half blitz from the boys in blue showed why Police are the team to beat as they came back from two goals down to edge Johor 3-2 in their opening match at the TNB Razak Cup 2016 at the National Hockey Stadium Pitch 2 on Saturday.
Two quick-fire penalty corner goals from Captain Baljit Singh in the 39th minute and a second almost immediately from Mohamad Razie Abd Rahim levelled the score after Johor had led the first half 2-0 thanks to goals from Mohammad Nor Hafiq Abdul Gaffar in the 23rd minute and their second from Muhammad Azammi Adabi in the 33rd.
Mohd Razie then bagged his second and the winner in the 41st minute as the favourites held on for victory despite the early scare.
In the other Division One match played, Malacca carved out a hard fought 3-1 win over Pahang.
In men’s Division Two matches played, Selangor thrashed Kedah 8-0 while Penang beat Perlis 7-3 in Group A. In Group B, Kelantan trounced Sarawak 6-2 and Sabah handed Armed Forces a 5-0 drubbing. In the other Division One match played, Malacca carved out a hard fought 3-1 win over Pahang.
In women’s Group A, Selangor defeated Sarawak 5-2 and Johor edged Police 2-1 while in Group B, Sabah were 4-1 winners over Negeri Sembilan and Armed Forces walked away with 3-1 victory over Terengganu.
Sabah started the match cautiously but began to assert themselves as the half progressed and raced to a 3-0 lead before the break as their speedy forward line began to dominate the ATM defence.
They went ahead through a Mohamed Dodi Musa field goal in the 21st minute and were 2-0 up a minute later when ATM keeper Mohd Khairul Afendy Kamaruzaman’s poor clearance allowed Shello Selverius to pick up the loose ball up smash it into the back of the net.
Captain Maxhans Christi made it 3-0 with a well taken penalty stroke in the 26th minute.
The East coast side went 4-0 up immediately after the break through another Mohamed Dodi strike before Shello wrapped the win in the 54th minute.
Sabah coach Hasrul Jidih, who drafted in seven players from Sabah’s Junior Hockey League squad, was happy with the result and the way his young team performed.
“The boys played well and they followed thegame plan. They performed a lot better than expected because a 5-0 win against strong opponents like Armed Forces is something to be proud of.
“We have a young squad and the target is to make the semi-finals,” added Hasrul who will watch his team take on Sarawak in their next match on Monday.
RESULTS – 21 MAY (SATURDAY)
Men’s Division 1 – Group A: Malacca 3 Pahang 1; Johor 2 Police 3; Division 2 – Group A: Selangor 8 Kedah 0; Perlis 3 Penang 7; Group B: Kelantan 6 Sarawak 2; Armed Forces 0 Sabah 5.
Women’s Division – Group A: Sarawak 2 Selangor 5; Police 1 Johor 2; Group B: Negri Sembilan 1 Sabah 4; Armed Forces 3 Terengganu 1.
Fixtures – May 22 (SUNDAY)
Men’s Division One – Group B: Perak v Negeri Sembilan (8pm, Pitch 1); Kuala Lumpur v Terengganu (8pm, Pitch 2); Division Two – Group A: Kedah v Penang (6pm, Pitch 1); Selangor v Perlis (6pm, Pitch 2).
Women’s Division – Group C: Malacca v Perak (7.30am, Pitch 1); Penang v Kedah (7.30am, Pitch 2); Group A: Sarawak v Johor (9.30am, Pitch 1); Pahang v Selangor (9.30am, Pitch 2); Group B: Negeri Sembilan v Terengganu (4pm, Pitch 1); Kuala Lumpur v Sabah (4pm, Pitch 2). All matches at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil