Friday January 25, 2013
Title-chasing UniKL on a goal-scoring mission
By S. RAMAGURU
KUALA LUMPUR: Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) are on a dual mission as they attempt to keep their hopes of winning the MHC-MILO-NSC Junior Hockey League (MJHL) title alive.
Their 0-1 defeat at the hands of Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) last week has dented their hopes considerably.
They play MSS Penang-USM today followed by MBI-Anderson the next day.
And they not only need to collect full points from the game to stay in the title mix but also score as many goals as possible. Only then can they keep the pressure on current leaders STMI-Thunderbolt.
Thunderbolt and MBPJ have nine points while third-placed UniKL have six after three matches.
UniKL coach K. Embaraj said the title could be decided by goal difference.
“We must win both matches as well as make every goal-scoring chance count. We must score from penalty corners and open play,” added Embaraj.
The good news for UniKL is that they will have two experienced players Norsyafiq Sumantri and Hafif Elkan for the two matches. Both the players were with the Project 2017 squad in Australia.
“With Norsyafiq and Hafif back, we now have more options up front. Attack will be the name of the game for us.
“Every team will be out to score points at this stage. While some of us are fighting for the title, the others will be out to finish in the top six to make the cut for the knockout stage. So there are no easy matches,” said Embaraj.
For MBPJ, the matches over the weekend is crucial too. MBPJ play MBI-Anderson today and then take on MSS Penang-USM the next day.
Coach Azlan Saufi Ahmad Soffian said: “It is all about gaining full points from the matches.
“We have to win. The ball is at our feet. We play Thunderbolt in our last match and if we get the job done by then, the title is there for the taking.
“We have two players suspended and two still on the injured list. But I am not going to let that worry me unduly. We just have to play it right and take the fight to our opponents. There is no reason for us to look at the other teams now. We just have to concentrate on our matches.”