MALACCA rose to the occasion to send Johor packing in a quarter-final match of the men’s hockey competition at the Malacca Hockey Stadium yesterday.
Malacca chalked up an impressive 4-1 win over Johor, who were the silver medallists at the last Sukma in Terengganu. They will play against Perak in the semi-finals today.
Perak scored two late goals through Mohd Sabri Mohamed in the 64th and Amir Farid in the 67th minutes to beat Pahang 2-0.
The other semi-final will be between Penang and Kuala Lumpur.
Penang had to ward off strong challenges from Negri Sembilan before winning 2-1 while defending champions KL edged Terengganu 4-3.
Johor have themselves to blame for the defeat as they muffed numerous chances to score. In contrast, Malacca made their chances count, scoring all the four goals from penalty corners.
Mohd Syakir Amir Kamarudin gave Malacca the lead off their second penalty corner in the 23rd minute and Johor equalised with a penalty corner conversion by Baljit Singh Sarjab in the 43rd minute.
Malacca hit back with three more penalty corner goals in a space of 15 minutes.
They regained the lead through Mohd Arifin Dollah in the 46th minute and Syakir went on target in the 59th before Amirullah Zainol sealed the match for Malacca two minutes later.
Although Malacca came away with a convincing win, coach K. Balakrishnan wasn’t too pleased with the way his team played the game.
“The forwards failed to score a single goal while the backline allowed the opponents to create a number of scoring chances,” he added.
Balakrishnan conceded that Malacca would face a difficult task against Perak, who have a well-balanced team.
“I hope that with home ground advantage and support from the fans, we will get the better of Perak,” he said.
Reports By The Stars