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NST Online: Sports


Football: Hairuddin looking to spoil Kelantan party

Posted: 28 Feb 2011 04:05 PM PST

2011/03/01
By Zainuddin Muhammad
nstsport@nstp.com.my


Negri Sembilan’s Hairuddin Omar expects the passionate Kelantan  fans to give him a hard time in their Super League match today.

Negri Sembilan's Hairuddin Omar expects the passionate Kelantan fans to give him a hard time in their Super League match today.

NEGRI SEMBILAN striker Hairuddin Omar is expecting a 'hot' reception from Kelantan fans at the Sultan Mohamad (IV) Stadium in Kota Baru today.

The Terengganu-born, who lifted the Malaysia Cup with the East Coast team last season, said he doesn't expect anything less from the passionate supporters.

"I will be jeered for certain but that is just the way the Kelantan fans are but I know deep down, they appreciate what I did for the team last year.


"I have a lot of respect for the newly assembled Kelantan team who are doing well in the league but my teammates and I are in Kota Baru for one reason only and that is to be the first team to beat Kelantan this season," he said.

Hairuddin said Negri will be strengthened by the return of Mohd Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak.

But Kelantan coach M.Karathu said, even with quite a number of national players in the visiting team, it will take a special effort from Negri to get the better of Kelantan.


"Morale in our camp is high and my boys are now playing with confidence after staying unbeaten for six matches, including the FA Cup opening round.

"We are also playing well at home, unlike last season where we were quite vulnerable when playing in Kota Baru, and our only worry now is the fact that we are not scoring as many goals as we should," said Karathu.

He pointed out the 1-1 draw against Kedah on Saturday as a perfect example of his strikers' failure to convert chances.


Meanwhile, T-Team -- who clinched their first win on Saturday, are also hungry for more success when they travel to MBPJ Stadium in Kelana Jaya to take on Felda United FC.

Coach Yunus Alif said the 3-0 victory over Perlis was just what his team needed to kick-start their season after three consecutive losses.

"Add the early exit in the FA Cup, and we have had quite a miserable start but all that should be behind us now that our strikers have found their scoring boots again.

"But then again, we have to work hard to overcome Felda United especially now that midfielder Zairo Anuar Zailani and striker Haris Safwan Mohd Kamal are out injured," he said.

In Kangar, coach Muosthakeen Omar is hoping to emulate Yunus by steering Perlis to their first win when they host Kuala Lumpur at Utama Stadium.

"We saw how T-Team engineered their win over us in Kuala Terengganu and hopefully, our young team will be able to do the same to Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday (today)," he said.

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Tennis / BMW Malaysian Open: Ayumi eyes top 30

Posted: 28 Feb 2011 04:02 PM PST


  Japan’s Ayumi Morita  thrashed Belarus’ Darya Kustova 6-2, 6-0 in her first round match yesterday. — Picture by Fariz Iswadi Ismail.

Japan's Ayumi Morita thrashed Belarus' Darya Kustova 6-2, 6-0 in her first round match yesterday. — Picture by Fariz Iswadi Ismail.

JAPAN'S Ayumi Morita claimed her run to this year's Australian Open third round was a turning point in her career and is now targeting to break into the world's top 30 before the end of 2011.

Ayumi turned in a commendable performance at the Australian Open before going down to China's much improved Peng Shuai. It was her best run in a grand slam tournament since turning pro in 2005.

She then reached the last-16 in Dubai which helped her to a career high ranking of 48 but dropped nine rungs in this week's rankings.


"I've made good progress in my game. My result in the Australian Open has given me the confidence to make more progress. I strongly believe I can achieve my top 30 target by the end of the year," said Ayumi yesterday.

"It is important I do well in big tournaments especially the grand slams as they carry more weight and ranking points."

The 21-year-old may have won eight career ITF titles but she has yet to make a mark on the WTA Tour. Her best tour result was reaching three semi-finals, including last year's Malaysian Open.

"It is not easy playing on the WTA tour as you cannot afford to play badly and hope to win. I was once ranked third in the junior rankings but it was easy then as I won matches effortlessly.

"It is different on the senior tour as you need to always stay focused and confident to attain good results," she said.


Ayumi started her BMW Malaysian Open campaign by thrashing Belarus' World No 165, Darya Kustova 6-2, 6-0 in her first round match yesterday.

"It is always tough in the first round, so I am glad to have won my match convincingly," said Ayumi.

"The Malaysian Open is special to me as I reached the semi-finals last year. I rather not speak about my target here as I prefer to take it one match at a time," added the Japanese, who plays China's Zhang Shuai in the second round tomorrow.

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