KUALA LUMPUR (26th May, 2016): Keep your discipline and we will win!
That is the message Malacca’s coach Azrul Effendy Bistamam has for his players, as they head into their 2016 TNB Tun Abdul Razak Cup Division One semi-final encounter against Terengganu.
The defending champions have been solid thus far but lost their focus at certain points of their final group match against Police on Wednesday that ended 2-2.
This according to Azrul almost cost them the top spot in Group A, and will end their chances of making the final should it occur again against a formidable Terengganu side.
“The match is 50-50 in my view because Terengganu have several national players that can punish us for any lapse of concentration.
“Their strike force especially must be kept a close eye on. This is why the team must be disciplined throughout the match,” said Azrul.
Terengganu are powered by several national players including goalkeeper Muhammad Hafizuddin Othman, midfielder Mohd Fitri Saari, winger Nik Muhammad Aiman Nik Rozami and forwards Faizal Saari and Muhammad Firhan Ashari.
Malacca will sweat on late fitness tests to Amirrullah Zainol who has bagged four goals so far, and Muhammad Iderus Ali, before naming their final squads.
Azrul however is prepared for the worst should the duo not pass.
“We will have to adapt if they miss out. We have taken one match at a time so far and it has worked for us, so tomorrow (today) will not be any different,” he added.
The other Division One semi-final sees Perak take on Police while in Division Two, Penang face Kelantan and Armed Forces are up against Perlis.
In the match to determine 5th to 8th Placing in Division One, Negeri Sembilan beat Pahang 2-0 in the penalty shoot-out after the match ended 3-3 in regulation time. The other match played saw Kuala Lumpur beat Johor 2-1.
Negeri Sembilan will now take on Kuala Lumpur in the 5th-6th Placing fixture on Saturday while Pahang face Johor to decide 7th and 8th place.
In the Division Two 5th to 8th Placing matches played, Sabah hammered Kedah 8-3 while Selangor thrashed Sarawak 11-0.
Sabah opened the scoring as early as the second minute through a Shello Selverius field goal and doubled their lead two minutes later through Zakhri Esar from a penalty corner.
Kedah then pulled one back in the 11th minute when Nur Rahul Hrsikesa Thaitchana Muruthi netted a penalty corner and were level on 2-2 three minutes later thanks to Mohd Herwan Pami. Nur Rahul then put Kedah ahead two minutes later with a well taken field goal, but it was all Sabah after that.
Goals from Md Faiz Aiman Mohamad Aseri (19th), Maxhans Christi (21st, 45th) Mohd Dodi Musa (36th), Muhajir Abdu Rauf (55th) and Muhd Fakhrullah Izzuddin Junaidi (58th) ensured Sabah book a 5th-6th Placing match against Selangor while Kedah take on Sarawak to decide 7th-8th spot.
RESULTS – May 26, (THURSDAY)
Men’s Division One – 5th-8th Placing: Pahang 3 Negeri Sembilan 3 (Negeri won shootout 2-0); Kuala Lumpur 2 Johor 1.
Men’s Division Two – 5th-8th Placing: Selangor 11 Sarawak 0; Sabah 8 Kedah 3.
Women’s Second Round – Group X: Pahang 3 Kuala Lumpur 1; Group Y: Selangor 2 Armed Forces 2; Group M: Kedah 1 Sarawak 5; Group N: Penang 3 Sabah 1.
Women’s – 13th-14th Placing: Police 4 Negeri Sembilan 0.
FIXTURES – May 27, (FRIDAY)
Men’s Division One – Semi-finals: Malacca v Terengganu (6pm, Pitch 2); Perak v Police (8pm, Pitch 2).
Men’s Division Two – Semi-finals: Penang v Kelantan (6pm, Pitch 1); Armed Forces v Perlis (8pm, Pitch 1); 7th-8th Placing: Sarawak v Kedah (4pm, Pitch 1); 5th-6th Placing: Selangor v Sabah (4pm, Pitch 2)
Women’s Round Two – Group X: Kuala Lumpur v Malacca (7.30am, Pitch 1); Group Y: Armed Forces v Perak (7.30am, Pitch 2); Group M: Sarawak v Terengganu (9.30am, Pitch 1); Group N: Sabah v Johor (9.30am, Pitch 2). All Matches at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.