IPOH: Former champions Perak are just one point away from securing a semi-final berth in Division One of the Razak Cup hockey tournament.
A 2-2 draw with Police in their second Group B match at the Azlan Shah Stadium here means Perak now have four points from two matches.
Police and Johor have two points each while Negri Sembilan have one point, but all three teams are still very much in contention for a place in the last four as well.
Perak, however, had to fight back twice to get the draw against Police yesterday.
Police went ahead through an S. Baljit Singh penalty conversion in the 14th minute before Perak levelled the score through a Syed Mohamed Shafiq Syed Cholan penalty corner goal in the 36th minute.
National defender Mohd Razie Rahim restored Police’s lead through a penalty corner conversion in the 44th minute but Perak hit back again – this time through Mohd Akhmal Tajuddin, also off a penalty corner set-piece, in the 54th minute.
Police coach Zul Khairi Ariffin was disappointed with his team for conceding the two goals.
“We had the lead twice and we allowed them to come back into the game. The only consolation is that we are still in the running for a semi-final berth.
“We need to win our next match – against Negri tomorrow,” he said.
In the other Group B match, Johor and Negri Sembilan played out a dour 1-1 draw to keep their semi-final hopes alive.
Johor, who drew their opening match 4-4 against Police, took the lead in the fourth minute through a penalty corner set-piece by Alfarico Lance Riau.
Negri equalised in the 14th minute through a Kavin Kartic penalty corner goal.
In Division Two, Perlis qualified for the semi-finals after whipping Armed Forces 4-1 for their second win in Group B.
Perlis got their goals through Izwan Ariff Nasruddin (ninth minute), Mohd Najmi Jazlan (19th, 58th) and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (30th). Forces replied through Mohd Firdaus Ismail (35th).
Perlis had trounced Singapore 6-0 in their opening match and have an unassailable six points.
The second semi-final spot looks set to go to Kedah, who beat Singapore 3-0. Kedah need just a draw against Perlis tomorrow.
Forces can still make the last four, but they will have to beat Singapore by a big margin and hope for Perlis to beat Kedah.