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NST Online: Sports


Football: Kim Swee opts for defensive plan

Posted: 07 Mar 2011 04:09 PM PST

2011/03/08
Ajitpal Singh
ajitpalsingh@nst.com.my


National Olympic coach Ong Kim Swee (right) gives final instructions to his team before boarding the flight to Lahore, Pakistan yesterday.

National Olympic coach Ong Kim Swee (right) gives final instructions to his team before boarding the flight to Lahore, Pakistan yesterday.

NATIONAL Olympic coach Ong Kim Swee will take a defensive approach in their Asian Zone Qualifier second leg clash against Pakistan in Lahore tomorrow.

"We need to be cautious as Pakistan showed that they can play good football. I will likely sacrifice a striker to put on an extra man in midfield for the second leg," said Kim Swee before boarding the flight to Lahore yesterday.

"Pakistan are fighting for survival and they will be playing aggressively to get goals. We need to be prepared for the unexpected."


Malaysia are expected to play the 4-5-1 formation to defend their 2-0 lead from the first leg on Feb 23.

Kim Swee is likely to opt for Ahmad Fakri Saraani as the lone striker over Ahmad Shakir Ali and A. Thamil Arasu.

"Our lead can be easily erased by Pakistan if we are not careful. My players must also remain calm as our opponents tend to be aggressive with their game.


"We must also cut down on mistakes especially in the back line," he added.

Kim Swee has limited options in defence as Faizal Muhammad was ruled out from the second leg on Sunday.

Malaysia's defence will be led by centre-back Muslim Ahmad together with Mahalli Jasuli, Fandi Othman and Affize Faisal Mamat.


Meanwhile, the confidence in the Pakistan camp is high after their recent 0-0 draw with Palestine in Karachi, which is bad news for the Malaysian side.

"The Palestine match has raised the confidence of my players. I hope they will build from it for the match against Malaysia," Pakistan coach Tariq Lutfi told www.dawn.com.

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Hockey: YNS brace for KLHC test

Posted: 07 Mar 2011 04:05 PM PST

2011/03/08
Ajitpal Singh
ajitpalsingh@nst.com.my


 YNS’ Shakeel Abbasi (centre) vies with UniKL’s  Mohd Razali Zulkipli in their first leg quarter-final match last Friday. YNS won 4-2.

YNS' Shakeel Abbasi (centre) vies with UniKL's Mohd Razali Zulkipli in their first leg quarter-final match last Friday. YNS won 4-2.

YAYASAN Negri Sembilan (YNS) are under no illusion about the kind of challenge Premier Division champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) will pose in the semi-finals of the Malaysian Hockey League.

YNS are bidding for their first overall title since 1996 and on returning to the league after 11 years, the club, with 11 foreign players mostly from India and Pakistan, are determined to upset the form book but may find KLHC too hot to handle.

The Negri Sembilan-based club were not expected to progress far in the knock-out stage after their erratic show in the Premier Division. But they managed to get into their groove in the quarter-finals and beat UniKL 9-5 on aggregate.


"We are glad we won convincingly as confidence is really important at this stage of the tournament. My hope is that my charges continue to play good hockey in the semi-finals," said YNS coach Hasnizam Ah Sim yesterday.

KLHC, however, are also entering the semi-finals on a high after a massive 26-3 aggregate win over Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS).

YNS and KLHC, who have seven national players from the Asian Games silver medal side, have met twice in the league with the latter winning both encounters convincingly (6-3 and 7-2).


"We must forget about past results. They may have beaten us twice in the league but it does not matter to us," added Hasnizam.

"We are a better prepared team for the semi-finals. It is also important we learn from past mistakes ahead of the clash." Sapura will be gunning for revenge when they face defending champions Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) in the other semi-final.

TNB, also this season's Charity Shield winners, edged Sapura on penalty strokes to lift the overall title last year.


It is expected to be an exciting clash as both teams are fired-up after their quarter-final wins.

TNB thrashed Armed Forces Juniors 11-4 on aggregate without the injured Amin Rahim but the drag flick specialist is expected to return for the semi-final.

Sapura, led by S. Kuhan and Pakistan international Rehan Butt, also boosted their confidence by overcoming Maybank 8-1 on aggregate.

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