KUALA LUMPUR (25th May, 2016): Malacca and Police shared the spoils as they played out a 2-2 draw in their Division One Group A match at the 2016 TNB Tun Abdul Razak Cup at the National Hockey Stadium Pitch 1 in Bukit Jalil on Wednesday.
The result sees Malacca take top spot with seven points and a superior goal difference from Police who are also on seven points while Pahang beat Johor 4-3 to finish third and fourth respectively.
In Group B, Perak topped the group with seven points after drawing 4-4 with Terengganu, who finish second with five points. Kuala Lumpur beat Negeri Sembilan 3-1 to finish third and fourth respectively.
The Division One semi-finals on Friday will see Malacca take on Terengganu while Perak face Police.
Pahang will meet Negeri Sembilan in the 5th-8th Placing match on Thursday (Tomorrow) while Kuala Lumpur will take on Johor.
Police were reduced to 10-men in the 21st minute when umpire Nor Azhar Abiddin red carded Azreen Rizal Nasir for uttering profanity and were lucky to escape with a draw thanks to the heroics of goalkeeper Muhammad Syair Suhami Udaya, who pulled-off countless saves from the Malacca frontline.
The boys in blue opened the scoring from a penalty corner in the 14th minute courtesy of Mohamad Razie Abd Rahim but Malacca drew level in the 27th minute through Muhammad Firdaus Omar.
Police regained their lead in the 53rd minute again from a Mohamad Razie penalty corner but Dedy Ariyadi Jumaidi equalised a minute later to make it 2-2.
Malacca coach Azrul Effendy Bistamam was happy with the result but admitted his side were far from their best.
“This is the worst match we played to date. They are capable of much better. Hopefully we do not repeat the same performance in the semi-finals,” said Azrul.
Police coach Gurmeet Singh was quick to defend Azreen Rizal for losing his composure during the match.
“Whatever he said was during the heat of the moment and in my opinion a yellow card would have been enough.
“We will miss his contribution in the semi-finals,” added Gurmeet who will welcome back Azreen Rizal should they advance to the final.
In women’s Group A, Pahang beat Johor 4-1 while Sarawak and Police drew 0-0 to finish fourth and fifth respectively.
The results see Pahang take top spot in the group with 10 points while Selangor finish second, also on 10 points, but with an inferior goal difference. Johor are third with four points, Sarawak have two points while Police are fifth with just one point.
Pahang, Kuala Lumpur and Malacca are placed in the winners’ pool of Group X for Round Two while Group Y consists of Selangor, Armed Forces and Perak.
Group M of the losers’ pool will comprise Sarawak, Terengganu and Kedah while Group N will feature Johor, Sabah and Penang.
Police will face Negeri Sembilan in the match to determine 13th – 14th place.
RESULTS – May 25, 2016 (WEDNESDAY)
Men’s Division 1 – Group A: Malacca 2 Police 2; Pahang 4 Johor 3; Group B: Perak 4 Terengganu 4; Negri Sembilan 1 Kuala Lumpur 3.
Women’s Group A: Pahang 4 Johor 1; Police 0 Sarawak 0; Group B: Kuala Lumpur 3 Terengganu 1; Armed Forces 4 Negri Sembilan 2; Group C: Malacca 4 Kedah 0; Perak 1 Penang 0.
FIXTURES – May 26, (THURSDAY)
Men’s Division One – 5th-8th Placing: Pahang v Negeri Sembilan (8pm, Pitch 1); Kuala Lumpur v Johor (8pm, Pitch 2)
Men’s Division Two – 5th-8th Placing: Selangor v Sarawak (6pm, Pitch 1); Sabah v Kedah (6pm, Pitch 2);
Women’s Second Round – Group X: Pahang v Kuala Lumpur (7.30am, Pitch 1); Group Y: Selangor v Armed Forces (7.30am, Pitch2); Group M: Kedah v Sarawak (9.30am, Pitch 1); Group N: Penang v Sabah (9.30am, Pitch 2); 13th – 14th Placing: Police v Negeri Sembilan (6pm, Pitch 2); All Matches at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.