SELANGOR CONTINUE WINNING WAYS

Former champions Selangor continued their winnings ways with a 4-1 demolition of Kedah in the TNB 53rd Tun Abdul Razak Cup Division Two tournament at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

While Selangor celebrated their second win following Friday’s 6-3 triumph over Armed Forces, Kedah suffered its third consecutive defeat and Police clawed back from a goal down to hold Armed Forces to a 2-2 draw.

Faridzul Afiq scored a brace (13th, 50th FG), Mohamed Noor Faeez (20th, PC) and Mohamed Amirullah (30th, FG) gave Selangor much to cheer about. Kedah’s solitary goal came through Mohamed Khairulamirin (38th, PC).

Perlis also stayed on course with a 6-1 victory of Sarawak, their second win in three matches after having defeated Kedah 4-1 on Friday but lost 6-2 against Police on Saturday.

The tiny northern state goals came from Muhamad Najmi Farizal (16th, 36th, FG), Sobirin Ilias (27th, 40th), Muhamad Atif Ghazali (21st, FG) and Muhammad Firdaus Musa via a 59th minute open play. Michael Xavier Patrick replied for Sarawak (45th, PC).

Penalty corner specialist Baljit Singh kept the Cops in front with a sixth minute strike but it was the soldiers who rallied back to take a 2-1 lead by the third quarter. Razali Hazemi fired home an 18th minute penalty corner and Abdul Ghafar Nordin was spot in with a 49th minute field goal. Azreen Rizal threw a life line for Police with a 56th minute field goal to force this draw.

Police lead the table standings with seven points followed by Selangor and Perlis with six-equal points and Forces four.

The much awaited Division One league starts on Monday with eight teams in action. Defending champions Perak open their Group A campaign against Penang and TNBMHL double champions Terengganu host Malacca.

In Group B, Negeri Sembilan takes on Pahang while 19-time champions Kuala Lumpur meets Johor.

Former national defender Azlan Misron, who has 350 international caps to his name, leads an experienced Perak side that includes goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin and his younger brother and national defender Mohd Izad Hakimi.

Perak will also have the services of three national players in the form of defender Mohd Sukri Abdul Mutalib, midfielder Meor Mohamed Azuan Hasan and forward Haziq Samsul.

Though it has been 37 years since Negri Sembilan last won the Razak Cup, Coach S. Chandran hopes his boys will qualify for the semi-finals. Pahang, however, stand in the way in the first hurdle.

Negeri will have the services of national senior team goalkeeper S. Kumar and midfielder Mohd Marhan Mohd Jalil, former internationals Mohd Madzli Ikmar Mohd Noor and K. Keevan Raj. Adding weight to the team are five players from the Malaysia Games squad – S. Devean, Mohd Aiman Zahari, Mohd Ikwan Ishak, Mohd Zabad Rosly and Mohd Luqman Hakim Mohd Asri.

Pahang have retained 12 players from last year’s team. They have Mohd Hafiz Zainol who is a current national player and five former internationals – Ismail Abu, Ahmad Kazamirul Nasruddin, Mohd Sallehin Ghani, Robert Alcantara and goalkeeper Mohd Khairulnizam Ibrahim.

“On paper we do have a good set of players but unfortunately I was never able assemble all of them to attend training,” said coach, Izwan Suhardi. “We we see how it goes in our first match against Negeri Sembilan and take it from there.”

The Division One champions will receive RM10,000, runners-up RM7,000 and third-placed team RM5,000.

Results – Division 2: Selangor 4 Kedah 1; Perlis 6 Sarawak 1; Police 2 Armed Forces 2.
Division 1 (Monday (30 Nov, 2015) Group A: Perak v Penang (Pitch 1, 8.0pm); Terengganu v Malacca (Pitch 2, 8.0pm).
Group B: Negeri Sembilan v Pahang (Pitch 1, 6.0pm); Kuala Lumpur v Johor (Pitch 2, 6.0pm).

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