Kuala Lumpur (20 September, 2016): High-riding TNB Thunderbolt is expected to go on ‘total demolition’ mission against Politeknik Malaysia in the first-leg semi-finals of the TNBMHL 2016 President’s Cup at the Tun Razak Stadium on Wednesday.
The Division One League champions carved a 5-1 win over their opponents in the league and are bent on not making any slip-ups as they set their sights on the President’s Cup which comes with a RM30,000 prize money.
“We are playing well and we must continue this momentum. There is no turning back and the players are aware. Results in the league don’t matter anymore and is in the past,” said head coach Nur Saiful Zaini.
“Politeknik Malaysia is capable of rising to the occasion and we have to respect them as they are no pushovers having qualified for the semifinals as well,” he said, adding that he has warned his players not to be over confident.
Thunderbolt crushed Nur Insafi 5-0 in the second-leg quarterfinals to go through 8-3 on aggregate while Politeknik Malaysia, who barely made the cut for the President’s Cup after finishing fourth in the league, triumphed 5-1 over Bukit Jalil Sports School for an 8-3 aggregate win.
Forward Mohamad Akhimullah Anuar Esook, who has scored 13 goals in the league, will once again be Thunderbolt’s main goal poacher in their quest to derail Politeknik’s march towards the final.
The second semifinals will be between Universiti Teknologi MARA-(UiTM-KPT) and Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) at the same venue.
SSTMI failed to continue where they left off with a 5-2 victory in the first-leg as ATM Airod turned the tables on them in the return leg to win 2-1. SSTMI, however, qualified for the last four 6-4 on aggregate.
Meanwhile, Royal Malaysian Police Blue Warriors and ATM Pernama are bracing for an exciting encounter in the semifinals of the Vivian May Soars Cup at the Ministry of Education Hockey Stadium in Jalan Pantai.
“I would rate our chances 50-50 as ATM Pernama is a force to be reckoned with. We won both our league matches 3-2 and that was a closely contested affair,” said Blue Warriors manager Insp. Nor Aishah Ishak, who is with the Police Strategic Resources and Technology Department in Bukit Aman.
“We just have to keep focus during the match and capitalize on every penalty corner chances that come our way. It won’t be an easy match but is neither an impossible task,” she added.
The second semifinals match is between league champions Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) playing against PKS-Uniten-KPT at the Ministry of Education Hockey Stadium.
FIXTURES – President’s Cup 1st leg semi-finals (Sept 21, 2016): TNB Thunderbolt v Politeknik Malaysia (6.00pm);
UiTM-KPT v SSTMI (8.00pm). Both matches will be played at Tun Razak Stadium.
Vivian May Soars Cup 1st leg semi-finals (Sept 21, 2016): SSTMI v PKS-Uniten-KPT (6.00pm); Blue Warriors v ATM Pernama (8.00pm). Both matches will be played at Ministry of Education Hockey Stadium, Jalan Pantai.