KANGAR: Penang's hockey skipper Mohd Khairul Naim Johari wants his team-mates to keep their tempers in check if they hope to qualify for the semi-finals of the men’s Sukma competition.
Khairul is annoyed with his team-mate and midfielder Mohd Azwar Abdul Rahman, who got a red card and a one-match suspension for using foul language against the umpire in the match against Malacca, which ended in a 1-1 draw on Tuesday.
Azwar, a former Project 2013 squad player, did not feature in the tie against Selangor on Thursday.
“I don’t want my team-mates to lose their temper and use foul language against umpires as this could affect our performance and results,” said Khairul.
“We also don’t want to be labelled as a team that lacks discipline. We are in Perlis to play our best to lift our first ever men’s hockey title.
“I advise my team-mates to stay focused and win our last group match against Kelantan tomorrow to seal a place in the semi-finals,” said Khairul.
He believes Penang have a good chance of reaching the semi-finals after snatching a 2-2 draw against favourites Federal Territories in a Group B match at the State Sports Complex Turf on Friday.
Penang have 11 points from three wins and two draws and need a win over Kelantan today to seal a place in the last four.
On Friday, FT took the lead through Mohd Syafiq Zulzairin in the ninth minute but Azwar equalised four minutes later off a penalty corner drag flick.
FT regained the lead in the 21st minute off a field goal by Norsyafiq Sumantri, only to have Khairul equalise through another penalty corner in the 33rd minute.