MALACCA: Underdogs Malacca High School stunned favourites SAB College of Johor with a golden goal to win 2-1 and squeeze into the final of the MHF-MILO-NSC-MSSM Champion Schools hockey tournament at the Bukit Serendit Hockey Stadium last night.
In the final today, the Malacca side will take on Negri Sembilan's SMK Dato Taha, who came from behind twice to overcome SMK Seberang of Temerloh 3-2 in the match-up.
The hotly favoured SAB College dominated the exchanges with their all-round strength but just could not translate their numerous chances into goals.
Malacca High School, meanwhile, banked on breakaway raids to trouble their opponents.
The Johor side started at a cracking pace but the home side’s defence, marshalled by captain Eric Koh, kept them at bay despite conceding five penalty corners in the first 18 minutes.
Against the run of play, Malacca High School scored in the 24th minute.
Off a long through ball from defender Mohd Akmal Mat Isa, unchallenged Mohd Khusairy Shariff deflected the ball from the top of the D high into the net.
SAB College continued their onslaught in the second half and finally got their equaliser in the 49th minute when the home side conceded a penalty stroke.
Omar Bakie Ayub confidently sent the ball past Abdul Rahim Mohd to tie up the score at 1-1.
Malacca High School held out stoutly after that and three minutes into extra time, the home side earned a penalty corner and Mohd Fairuz Nekmat tucked it home.
In the other semi-final, the Gemencheh side, the losing finalists in 1995, 2000 and 2001, looked a jaded lot and the Temerloh outfit deservingly drew first blood in the sixth minute through Abdul Ghaffar Mohd Noordin.
Undaunted, SMK Dato Taha drew level in the 24th minute when Mohd Syazwan Rosley finished off a midfield move started by skipper S. Muniandy.
A minute later, the Temerloh side were back in the lead through Ahmad Sabry Jamaluddin.
A half-time tongue lashing from SMK Dato Taha coach Roslan Mohamad saw a change and they equalised through a penalty conversion by Muniandy in the 43rd minute.
The Gemencheh side finally nailed the winner in the 61st minute through Mohd Shahir Maarof.