Kuala Lumpur (21 Sept, 2016): Politeknik Malaysia gave an encouraging performance but it was high-riding TNB Thunderbolt that hogged the limelight with a 3-2 victory in the first-leg semifinals of the TNBMHL 2016 President Cup at the Tun Razak Stadium today.
Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM-KPT) also triumphed 4-3 over Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI), the Division One league runner-up, in an exciting second semifinals encounter.
Goals from Muhamad Azrul Hariez (26th and 58th), Muhamad Syafiq Zulzairin (28th) and Ahmed Iqhwan (32nd) gave UiTM the upper hand going into Friday’s return-leg semifinals. SSTMI came back with a double from Muhammad Luqman Hakim (39th and 51st) and Mohd Zulhamizan Awang Abas 45th minute penalty corner goal.
Drag-flick specialist Muhamad Idris Samad scored a brace for Thunderbolt via penalty corners in the first and 37th minutes to give the Division One League champions and President’s Cup defending champions the much needed boost towards the second-leg semifinals at the same venue.
It was Idris, a Fifth Former at the Pahang Sports School, seventh penalty corner goal in the 2016 TNBMHL season.
Politeknik Malaysia, however, played the right kind of game to claw back through a Muhamad Fakhri Ardillah (38th minute) field goal while Mohamad Asyraf Zuhry flicked the ball over goalkeeper Muhammad Hamiz Mohd Ahir in a one-to-one situation to level score 2-2 in the 49th minute.
In a mesmerizing show of strength, both teams went on the offensive in the last 10 minutes of play and Thunderbolt won the battle as Muhammad Azrai Aizad sneaked the ball past goalkeeper Muhamad Nur Ariff in the 51st minute to give the front runners a 3-2 win.
In the Vivian May Cup Soars Cup women’s first-leg semifinals, Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) defeated PKS-Uniten-KPT 2-0 while Royal Malaysian Police Blue Warriors edged ATM Pernama with a Hanis Nadiah 32nd minute penalty corner goal at the Ministry of Education Hockey Stadium on Jalan Pantai. The second-leg semifinals are on Friday (23 Sept).
A game in which SSTMI dominated throughout, they failed to further extend the lead with a good number of chances going to waste.
PKS-Uniten-KPT had their goalkeeper, Priyangga Jayarajan, to thank for denying SSTMI a host of chances in the first half. On the opposite end they were also quick on the counter-attacks but could not find the goals against a side with lots of experience.
SSTMI failed to convert all four penalty corners in the first half and Fatin Naimah Zaki even saw her one of her drives denied by the woodwork in the second quarter. However, she was not to be denied in the 45th minute, when her shot from out of the box sailed past the goalkeeper.
Norhidayah Ahmad Bokhari doubled SSTMI’s lead in the 48th minute with a swerving shot which caught the defenders off guard.
PKS-Uniten’s best chance of scoring came in the fourth quarter when they were awarded a penalty corner. However the ball landed straight at the feet of goalkeeper Mas Humaizah, who leaves for Perth on Monday to compete in the Australian Hockey League with the national team.
RESULTS – President’s Cup First-leg semifinals: TNB Thunderbolt 3 Politeknik Malaysia 2; UiTM-KPT 4 SSTMI 3.
Friday (23 Sept) – Second-leg semifinals: SSTMI v UiTM-KPT (6.0pm); TNB Thunderbolt v Politeknik Malaysia (8.0pm). Both matches will be played at Tun Razak Stadium.
Vivian May Soars Cup First-leg semifinals: SSTMI 2 PKS-Uniten-KPT 0; Blue Warriors 1 ATM Pernama 0.
Friday (23 Sept) – Second-leg semifinals: ATM Pernama v Blue Warriors (6.0pm); PKS-Uniten-KPT v SSTMI (8.0pm). Both matches will be played at the Ministry of Education Hockey Stadium.