NST Online: Sports

sumber :-

NST Online: Sports

Tigers eye big prize

Posted: 19 Dec 2010 10:03 AM PST

From Devinder Singh in Hanoi

Safiq Rahim stressed the importance of making the home ground advantage for the first leg (Dec 26) count.

Safiq Rahim stressed the importance of making the home ground advantage for the first leg (Dec 26) count.

THEY had been written off after a first-game debacle but the Malaysian Tigers now eye the big prize after an amazing turnaround.

Eliminating the AFF Suzuki Cup defending champions, Vietnam, is no mean feat and the battling national side fully deserve the praise they are getting.

They chased every ball, shadowed every Vietnam move, absorbed all the pressure and at the final whistle, trooped off the My Dinh Stadium pitch with heads held high after completing a 2-0 semi-final aggregate success.

"We always believe we could reach the final, we had the confidence to do it even though we had a bad start to the tournament," said skipper Safiq Rahim in referring to the 5-1 mauling by Indonesia in a Group A match in Jakarta on Dec 1.

"Now that we are in the final, we want to go on and win the trophy. We have to make the home ground advantage for the first leg (on Dec 26) count."

Prior to the semi-finals, coach K. Rajagobal stressed on carrying out the game-plan to the letter and the Malaysian players certainly stuck to the script with a dogged performance.

Centre-backs Muslim Ahmad and Fadhli Shas, aged 21 and 19 respectively, played with maturity beyond their years and were ably supported by full-backs Sabre Mat Abu and Asraruddin Putra Omar.

Safiq curbed his offensive instinct to provide cover for the back-four, hacking away anything that Vietnam could come up with as Malaysia made the final for the first time since the inaugural tournament in 1996.

And when the defence was breached, there was the excellent Khairul Fahmi to save the day, denying Nguyen Viet Thang's point-blank header in the second half to ensure his third clean-sheet in four matches.

"That was just instinct. I was a bit lucky it came straight at me," said Khairul Fahmi, the youngest goalkeeper in the tournament at 21, of his crucial save.

"They were coming at us like crazy but we hung in there and the defenders were superb. We are all very happy and now we can't wait to create history by winning the trophy for the first time."

The ever-modest Muslim, whose aerial challenges frustrated Vietnam's attackers over the two legs, said the entire team deserved credit for reaching the final.

"I just did what the coach asked me to do. I had to pay special attention to one or two of their players and that is what I did.

"But the whole team did well, it was a team effort," said centre-back, who credited his two Slovakia stints with the Young Tigers for his fine performance in Hanoi.

Full Feed Generated by GetFullRSS.com, sponsored by USA Best Price.

Spurs edge Grizzlies in overtime

Posted: 19 Dec 2010 07:33 AM PST

SAN ANTONIO: San Antonio's NBA winning streak only just survived a strong Memphis challenge on Saturday, with Tony Parker scoring 16 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter and overtime to give the Spurs a 112-106 win over the Grizzlies.

Parker was 15 for 21 from the field, putting up a season high while scoring nine of San Antonio's final 10 points in regulation. His 8-footer with 1:01 left in overtime also helped seal a third straight down-to-the-wire Spurs victory, and their eighth straight overall.

l In Milwaukee, Utah overcame a double-digit deficit for the ninth time this season and overhauled Milwaukee 95-86.

The Jazz shook off a season-low 71 points in their previous game to surge home after falling behind by 12 early.

Deron Williams scored 22 points and added 11 assists, while Al Jefferson added 18 points and nine rebounds for the Jazz.

l In Washington, Miami survived a fright from lowly Washington to notch a 12th straight win by 95-94.

LeBron James had 32 points, seven rebounds and six assists. James and Chris Bosh got away with contact on Kirk Hinrich on a potential game-winning layup, letting the Heat edge the last-place Wizards, who nearly pulled off the upset without injured No 1 pick John Wall and the just-traded Gilbert Arenas.

l In Orlando, Lou Williams scored 24 points as Philadelphia beat an Orlando team in the midst of a major roster change 97-89.

Andre Iguodala had 21 points for the 76ers.

The Magic had only eight players available after two major trades earlier in the day. They acquired troubled guard Gilbert Arenas from Washington, and Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson from Phoenix.

l In Cleveland, Mo Williams scored 23 points, including the tying basket late in regulation and six points in overtime, as Cleveland snapped a 10-game losing streak by beating New York 109-102.

Antawn Jamison, who added 21 points, and Anderson Varejao each made two baskets in the extra session as Cleveland broke their longest losing streak since 2002-03.

l In Chicago, Los Angeles stopped Chicago's seven-game winning streak in a thrilling 100-99 finish.

Chicago guard Derrick Rose, fouled with 0.8 seconds remaining as he drove to the basket, hit the first free throw but missed the second with a chance to tie.

l In Denver, the hosts overcame Kevin Love's career-high 43-point performance in a narrow 115-113 victory over Minnesota.

Carmelo Anthony scored 24 points and had a key block while Ty Lawson added 23 points to deal the short-handed Timberwolves their 11th straight road loss.

l In Portland, LaMarcus Aldridge had 17 points and 12 rebounds as Portland held off Golden State 96-95.

Monta Ellis, who led the Warriors with 26 points, had a chance to win it but his 20-foot jumper with 0.8 seconds left was off. -- AP

Full Feed Generated by GetFullRSS.com, sponsored by USA Best Price.

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

0 ulasan:

Catat Ulasan