21st March, 2017
SECOND WIN … Sabah’s goalkeeper Hail Iskandar Hail Amir and Azril Peter (in red), deny a Kuala Lumpur player from scoring during their Group C tie in the ongoing 1MAS-MSN-KPM-MILO National Under-16 Hockey Championship 2017 yesterday.
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah boys concluded their Group C challenge with a 2-0 win over Kuala Lumpur in the ongoing 1MAS-MSN-KPM-MILO National Under-16 Hockey Championship 2017 in the national capital.
Coached by Hasrul Jideh, Sabah scored twice in the opening half through Muhammad Izaz Afdhaal and Mohd Hasdar Haruna in a match played at the PHKL Stadium in Jalan Pantai.
Muhammad Izaz drew first blood for his side with a field goal in the 11th minute before Mohd Hasdar added the second from a penalty corner in the 26th minute.
With the victory, Sabah boys finished top of the group and will march into the second round along with second-placed Pahang.
Earlier on, Sabah boys had a shaky start to their campaign.
Despite taking a 4-0 lead, they were forced to settle for a five-all draw against Kelantan in the opener.
However, they upped their game in their next fixture against Pahang where they emerged as 2-1 winners.
The three-group tournament will see the top two teams in each group make the second round where they will be drawn into two groups – X and Y.
The second round will also be played based on the round robin format where the group winners will play in the championship match while the second-placed teams will be involved in the bronze-medal match.
The third-placed teams in each group will make the fifth-sixth classification match.
“We are happy to have made it into the second round. In fact, we have achieved our target (semi-final).
“I hope the players will continue to work hard and try to make it into the final,” said Hasrul when contacted yesterday.
For the record, the draw for the second round will be conducted on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, in the girls’ category, Sabah have also had quite a good campaign thus far.
They thrashed Kedah 5-0 in their first Group A tie, before annihilating Sarawak by registering a 10-0 victory in their second fixture.
They did not have any match yesterday, but they will return from the one-day break by taking on defending champions Selangor before concluding their group challenge facing Kelantan. – FRANCIS XAVIER