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Thursday January 24, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday April 22, 2013 MYT 3:32:24 PM
by story AND amp;amp;photos by dasheer noh
THE Al-Bukhary International University’s soccer debut in the annual Zarina Catering Cup soccer competition ended in disappointment.
Al-Bukhary, fielding players from various African countries, Thailand, India and Kosovo went down by a solitary goal to Education Football Club at the TNB ground in Mergong, Kedah, on the competition’s opening day on Saturday.
The all-important goal was scored by Abdul Ghani Hasan in the 50th minute to ensure his team full points.
Both teams had difficulties controlling the ball on the hard and bumpy pitch. However, they still managed to create several exciting moves but the strikers were a big letdown as they failed to hit the target.
As expected, the Al-Bukhary players showed good skills but failed to obtain the goals.
After a scoreless first half, Education FC finally broke the deadlock when Abdul Ghani struck a grounder from inside the penalty area in one of their many raids.
The score remained unchanged until the final whistle.
In the other matches played at the same ground Sunday, Odah FC blasted Derga XI 6-2 after leading 2-1 at half-time.
Striker Raqib Halim scored a hat-trick in the 2nd, 47th and 53rd minutes while Khairul Zairy (34th minute), Syed Mohd Sanim (49th minute) and Nazri Hisham Yusof (72nd minute) added the other goals.
Derga XI replied through Lim Kok How (27th minute) and Mohd Hanif Kabeer (73rd minute).
In the match between Galacticos FC and Continental Sports club, the former won by 3-0 scoring through Nazri Noor (7th minute), Ahmad Nazib Azmi (9th minute) and Ruzaimi Azmi (47th minute).
Meanwhile, last year’s champion Real Sports Centre and runner-up Seberang Terus FC were not among the eleven teams competing this year.
Real Sports Centre had beaten tournament favourite Seberang Terus FC 2-0 in last year’s final.
After a one-round league competition, the top eight teams will qualify for the quarter-final knockout series. The final is scheduled to be held on April 15.
The champion will get a Zarina challenge trophy, RM500 in cash and medals.
This year’s participating teams are: Kilat Club, Al-Bukhary International University (Al-Bukhary FC), Odah FC, Continental Sports Club, PSA FC, Kembara FC, Ya Rabbi FC, Jitra Veterans FC, Galacticos FC, Derga XI and Education FC.
Results: Education FC 1 Al-Bukhary FC 0, Odah FC 6 Derga X1 2, Galaticos FC 3 Continental Sports Club 0.
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