Kuala Lumpur (14 May, 2017): Thunderbolt teams Pahang Hockey Academy and Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) qualified for Sunday’s 2017 TNB Junior Cup final at the Tun Razak Stadium.
Pahang Hockey Academy defeated Anderson Thunderbolt 4-2 on penalty shootouts after a 3-3 draw in regulation time while 2016 League champions SSTMI edged Bukit Jalil Sports School Thunderbolt, the 2016 overall champions, 3-0 in the semi-finals today.
The triumph over BJSS was sweet revenge for SSTMI who lost 6-5 on penalties to their arch rivals in a league match last month following a 2-2 draw. SSTMI goals today were scored by Muhammad Ariff Shafie (13th and 53rd minutes) and Shello Silverius (49th minute).
It is also the second time that a team from Pahang reached the final of the Malaysian Junior Hockey League after Telekom Pahang’s success in 2002.
Pahang Hockey Academy led 3-1 with a brace from Muhammad Noor Firdaus (5th and 32nd minutes) and Muhammad Idris Samad’s sixth minute penalty corner conversion before defensive blunders allowed the well organised and disciplined Anderson forwards to move in search of the equaliser in the third and fourth quarters.
Anderson, who showed newly crowned League champions Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya (MBPJ Tigers) the exit in last week’s quarterfinals, replied through Muhammad Aliff Ikhemal (30th) and Muhammad Akram Hakkam (38th and 51st minutes) to draw level at 3-3 to force the match into penalty shootouts.
Syamil Azim Dzulkafly, Muhammad Izham Azhar, Muhammad Hazzim Amin Hafidz and Muhammad Noor Firdaus were successful for Pahang Hockey Academy in the shootouts whilst Anderson scored through Muhammad Akram Hakkam and Muhammad Nur Syahmi.
It was the second time Pahang Hockey Academy defeated Anderson in the 2017 TNBMJHL this season after posting a 3-1 victory in the league.
“We have reached our target of qualifying for the final this year. This was stated in our blue print when the Academy was formed in 2013,” said coach Mohd Suffian Mohamad. “The last time we reached the final was in 2002 when I played for Telekom Pahang.”
“The boys played an attacking game in the first two quarters and we scored early. Our past record against Anderson has always been close and we are aware of their strength,” he added.
Anderson coach, Mohd Nizam Hashim, however, credited his players for giving a respectable performance against the Pahang boys despite going down in penalty shootouts.
“The boys took it easy in the first quarter and upped the ante in the last two quarters to draw 3-3. We also had two clear chances to win but when you don’t take your chances it is going to be a tough battle all way winning the match in 60 minutes,” said Nizam.
“Overall, I believe the players did their very best in this match. Penalty shootouts are anybody’s game and as far as I am concerned it is unfortunate we lost in the shootout.”
Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur Sports School Wipers and SSTMI also qualified for the women’s final. KL Wipers defeated MSSPP-PSHA-USM 3-1 whilst SSTMI clawed MSN Kedah 4-2 in the semi-finals played at the Kuala Lumpur HA Stadium.
KL Wipers trailed 1-0 by the eighth minute after Siti Nur Arfah had put MMSS-PSHA-USM into the lead. However, the city girls bounced back with goals in the third and fourth quarters through Siti Nur Amira (33rd), Qasidah Najwa (49th) and Siti Zulaika (58th) to qualify for the final.
As for Bandar Penawar-based SSTMI, they led 2-1 with a field goal from Nur Syaza Afiqah (4th minute) and Nur Arisha Asrul’s penalty corner conversion five minutes later before MSN Kedah equalised through Nur Amirah Shakirah’s double strikes in the 12th and 19th minutes via open play.
Nur Afiqah Syahzani increased the lead to 3-1 in the 37th minute and Nor Fatin Nabila sealed victory for SSTMI with a late penalty corner goal.
Results – Boys TNB Junior Cup Semi-finals: Pahang Hockey Academy Thunderbolt 3 Anderson Thunderbolt 3 (Pahang Hockey Academy won 4-2 on penalties); Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School Thunderbolt 3 Bukit Jalil Sports School Thunderbolt 0.
Women League Semi-finals: SSTMI 4 MSN Kedah 2; MSSPP-PSHA-USM 1 Kuala Lumpur Sports School Wipers 3.
Fixtures – (Sunday, 21 May, 2017) – TNB Junior Cup Boys Final: Pahang Hockey Academy Thunderbolt v Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School Thunderbolt (8.35pm).
Girls Final: Kuala Lumpur Sports School Wipers v Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (6pm, both matches at Tun Razak Hockey Stadium)