Sunday February 3, 2013
MBPJ’s for the taking
By S. RAMAGURU
KUALA LUMPUR: Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) are just one point away from lifting their maiden MHF-Milo-NSC Junior Hockey League title after beating Malacca High School 2-1 in their penultimate match at the Bukit Serendit Hockey Stadium.
The victory, however, came at a high price as two of their more experienced players – skipper Mohd Shahiram and midfielder Mohd Asraf Zulzali — will be suspended for the match against defending champions SSTMI-Thunderbolt today.
Three teams are in the running for the title. MBPJ lead the standings with 18 points after six matches, followed by Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) on 15. Thunderbolt are third with 12 points but with a game in hand.
So, Thunderbolt must beat MBPJ to keep their title hopes alive.
Should Thunderbolt win, then their Feb 7 match against UniKL could well be the title decider.
But all that would be of academic interest if MBPJ can get a draw against Thunderbolt today.
Against Malacca High School yesterday, MBPJ had to come back from a goal down for victory.
Malacca took the lead in the eighth minute with an Amir Farhan Kamaruddin penalty corner goal.
Mohd Shairam Zali equalised for MBPJ in the 55th minute before Nazirul Mubin whipped in the winner in the 61st.
MBPJ assistant team manager Zainal Abidin Ismail expects a tough match against Thunderbolt, especially with the absence of their two key players.
“We have two players suspended for the next match. There is no doubt that this is a title decider for us. It’s going to be very tough considering they are two of our more experienced players,” he said.
“But the players are determined to win the match against the reigning champions. We are so close to the title ... we won’t let it go without a fight.”
In another match, Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) ended their campaign with a first league win after edging MSS Penang-USM 5-4 at the Education Ministry Turf.
But it may still not be enough to prevent the former champions from being relegated.
BJSS are in sixth spot with four points after seven matches – the same as seventh-placed SSTMI Juniors, who have two matches to play.