Thursday, 27 March 2014 | MYT 7:53 PM
Perak, KL book semi berth in U-16 hockey
KUALA LUMPUR: Defending champions Perak and five-time former champions Kuala Lumpur booked their semi-final berth in the boys’ catergory of the MHC-Milo Under-16 hockey championship in Kangar.
They join Penang and Selangor in the last four.
Perak defeated Negri Sembilan 3-1 in the crucial match in Goup A while KL had little trouble beating Terengganu 3-0 in Group B at the Kangar Hockey Stadium.
Perak have completed their matches but will have to wait for the Selangor-Kedah match on Friday to find out if they top the group. If Selangor win, they will head into the semi-finals as Group A champions.
In Group B, Penang and KL are the two teams who have booked their berth in the semis and their final matches on Friday will also decide which team tops the group.
Penang will play Terengganu while KL will play Kelantan.
KL coach K. Embaraj said that the group champions will likely be decided on goal difference.
“We are not overly concerned as whoever you play in the last four will be a tough team. In the age group tournament there are really no favourites. Every match is crucial and the semi-finals will be a diffeent ball game as you cannot afford to make any mistakes at that stage,” he said.
“We plan to use the match with Kelantan to try out a few ideas and variations. So the results will not matter to us as we are already in the last four. I just want the players to use the opportunity to learn and maintain their form,” he said.
In Thursday’s match, KL’s goals came through Mohamed Fadhzil (26th minute), P. Kavinash (47th) and Mohamed Fikri (65th).
Champions Perak went all out for a win knowing that a defeat would put Negri Sembilan in the semi-finals.
Negri took the early lead in the 19th minute through a field goal by Jefri Jaafar. But, it wasn’t long before Mohamed Zaidi scored from a penalty corner to give Perak the equaliser in the 24th minute. Mohamed Najme and Syed Syakir ensured full points for Perak with goals in the 48th and 61st minutes respectively.
Friday’s matches will be a formality for the semi-finalists in the boys’ category. The semi-finals will be played on Saturday.
Meanwhile in the girls’ competition, defending champions Penang will meet Negri Sembilan while Pahang take on Kelantan in the semi-finals at the Kuala Perlis turf on Friday.