Saturday February 2, 2013
MBI-Anderson send double champs packing in Ipoh
By S. RAMAGURU
KUALA LUMPUR: MBI-Anderson caused a sensational upset when they sent double champions SSTMI-Thunderbolt reeling to a 3-2 defeat in the MHC-Milo-NSC Junior Hockey League at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh.
Thunderbolt went into the match as red-hot favourites, having scored a whopping 23 goals en route to winning their previous four matches. They had marked their return to action after a three-week break by chalking up a thumping 7-0 win over lowly MSS Penang-USM on Thursday.
MBI-Anderson, however, began the match with just five points in the bag and were just looking at maintaining a top-six position so as to make the cut for the last eight.
After a quiet first-half, yesterday’s match exploded into life with five goals.
Mohd Shahril Saabah opened the scoring for Thunderbolt in the 49th minute but Mohd Johari Sani equalised with a field attempt three minutes later.
MBI-Anderson then went 2-1 up in the 62nd minute off a N. Kaatigan penalty corner goal before S. Deveandran added the third two minutes later.
Shahril got his and the team’s second goal in the 67th minute but MBI-Anderson held on for all three points.
Thunderbolt coach Wan Mohamed Roslan said it was difficult to explain the reason for their loss.
“We had numerous penalty corners and controlled the match. Yet we let in some soft goals. We even had the lead,” he lamented.
Roslan felt that the travelling they’ve had to do over the last two days could have taken its toll on the players.
“They were tired and their movements were affected. We are in a fix now ... we have to win both our remaining matches – against Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) on Sunday and Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) on Feb 7.
“It’s a must-win situation for us. We can’t afford to drop even one point if we are to retain the title.”
Three Thunderbolt players were shown the yellow card in the match. Azmi Deramaan, who was also yellow-carded in the match against MSS Penang on Thursday, will be suspended for the match against MBPJ as he has eight demerit points. The other two – Mohd Huzairy Zin and Amir Zulkarnian – can play in the next match.
The defeat has now changed the title equation, with the advantage clearly in favour of MBPJ and UniKL.