Thursday June 2, 2011
Striker Izzat helps SMK Anderson qualify for MUPC regional finals in Thailand
By Y.P. SIVAM
Photos by RICKY LAI
MOHD IZZAT Mohd Ramlee was SMK Anderson’s hero when his goal gave them a hard-fought 1-0 win over SMK Pusat Bandar Puchong in the final of the Manchester United Premier Cup football competition at the National Sports Council (NSC) training ground in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur recently.
Mohd Izzat was on target in the 20th minute with a clinical strike which sailed past Muhd Hafiq Ridwan. Until that goal, it was SMK Pusat Bandar Puchong who were having the edge. However, their strikers were unable to penetrate their opponents’ defence with Md Fariszuan Majid in total command.
SMK Anderson goalkeeper Md Zahier Abu Sahit also had a good game and denied the oppossing strikers with good anticipation and daring saves.
SMK Anderson qualified for the final after a 4-3 extra time win against SMK Putera of Kota Baru. SMK Putera were the defending champions and had represented the region in the World finals in Manchester.
SMK Pusat Bandar Puchong edged Penang Schools Sports Council 2-1 in the other semi-finals.
As the national champions, SMK Anderson will represent Malaysia in the regional finals in Si Racha, Thailand from June 6 to 9.
Their coach Ma’Amal Hajri Abdul Wahab said they were happy to emerge champions.
“It is a dream come true for us. We were not the favourites but showed discipline and character against our opponents from Selangor as they had a longer rest period after their semi-final match. On the other hand we were involved in an extra time match against Kelantan.” said Ma’Amal Hajri.
SMK Anderson will continue their training programme and are determined to put up a good show in the regional finals in Thailand.
Ma’Amal Hajri said they would go to Thailand with confidence.
“We will go all out to win the sole ticket to the World Finals in Manchester,’’ he added.
SMK Anderson also won the fairplay trophy. Their player Muhd Amirul Waie was the competition’s top scorer and was also named as the Most Promising Player.
The best goalkeeper award went to SMK Pusat Bandar Puchong’s Muhd Hafiq for his impressive performance in the two-day championship.
The MUPC competition, catering for the Under-15 age group, was organised by Nike Malaysia with support from the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM).
After the five-zone competitions held in Kuantan, Shah Alam, Seberang Prai, Pasir Gudang and Kuching, involving about 200 teams, 10 teams — two from each zone — qualified for the national finals.
Nike Malaysia country manager J. Sivashankar said they were pleased with the performance of the teams in the MUPC.
“I had visited the other Asean countries for their national competitions. But, I think, the Malaysian teams are better and stand a good chance of making an impact in the regional finals,’’ said Sivashankar.