Saturday March 2, 2013
Thunderbolt and UniKL to contest fourth straight overall final
By S. RAMAGURU
KUALA LUMPUR: SSTMI-Thunderbolt and Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) will square off in their fourth MHC-Milo-NSC Junior Hockey League final tomorrow.
In the semi-final second-leg ties yesterday, Thunderbolt defeated MBI-Anderson 2-1 in Ipoh for a 10-1 aggregate win while UniKL thumped SSTMI Juniors 3-0 in Johor Baru for a 9-0 aggregate triumph.
This will be their fourth straight overall final, with Thunderbolt winning the last two and UniKL the 2010title.
At the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru, UniKL opened scoring in the ninth minute when Hafifi Elkan converted a penalty corner before Mohd Syafiq Zulzairin added two more in the 14th and 69th minutes to seal victory.
Syafiq has now scored 14 goals and looks set to bag the top scorerís award.
UniKL coach K. Embaraj was glad his men did just enough to get through to the final and not take unnecessary risks in the match.
ďI think it was a comfortable win. Itís the final on Sunday that matters. We want to win the crown.
Playing three matches in five days is tough ... thatís why we didnít push too hard in the second leg.
ďThe players will be ready for the final,Ē he said.
At the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh, two early goals from top scorers Mohd Hafiz Selemen (sixth minute) and Mohd Shahril Saabah (11th) were enough to seal victory for defending champions Thunderbolt.
The duo took their goal tally to nine goals each. Although MBI-Anderson reduced the deficit through N. Kartigan in the 43rd minute, the damage was already done in the first leg.
But at least MBI-Anderson can gloat that they were the only team to have beaten Thunderbolt in the preliminary round.