Friday September 28, 2012
Sapura lose sting as striker Azreen is injured
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Sapura’s hopes of finishing second in the TNB-Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) suffered a dent as they will not have the services of international Azreen Rizal Nasir for this weekend matches.
The 23-year-old Azreen, who has scored three goals in the MHL, injured his knee after falling awkwardly in the match against Maybank last Sunday.
“We have sent Azreen for a medical check-up at National Sports Institute (NSI) and are still awaiting his report,” said Sapura coach K. Balakrishnan.
“One thing is for sure ... he will not play in the two crucial matches this weekend.
“He is an experienced forward who has played for the national team. His absence will affect our strike force.”
Balakrishnan is counting on the other forwards – Izwan Firdaus Ahmad Tajuddin, Faizal Daud, Mohd Razali Mohd Zolkipli and South Korean Jason Lee –to step up to the plate and deliver the goods in the last two league matches.
Sapura will also be banking on Pakistani defender Muhammad Imran, who has scored four goals from penalty corners.
Sapura are third in the Premier Division with 12 points from eight matches. KL Hockey Club (KLHC) lead with 19 points and Tenaga are second with 16.
Sapura will wrap up their league fixtures with matches against Tenaga today and Nur Insafi-Perak on Sunday.
KLHC will take on Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) today and Tenaga on Sunday.
Balakrishnan said they will go all out to win their last two matches in a bid to finish second and equal last year’s achievement.
“Although we are four points behind Tenaga, the second spot is still within reach. We need to beat Tenaga first tomorrow. But it won’t be easy as we lost 1-0 to them in the first round match,” said Balakrishnan.