KL the underdogs

Press Release

KLHA

TNB Razak Cup

Semis preview KL v Selangor

Wake-up call for KL in derby clash

The TNB-Tun Abdul Razak Cup Women’s Hockey Tournament semi-finals derby clash between Kuala Lumpur and Selangor tomorrow is expected to go down to the wire at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium.

Over the years there has not been any sign of love-hate relationship between the two sides. In fact it’s been far more cordial then what is perceived.

The city girls galloped into the semi-finals following an 8-1 thrashing of debutants Indonesia on Wednesday in the last match of their Group A fixtures while Selangor rode on a crushing 5-1 victory against Johor to go top of Group B pool.

Kuala Lumpur manager, Noor Saliza Soobni, however, is not having any more of the ‘trepidations’ when they came under pressure at the eleventh hour to book a ticket.

“It all ends here,” said Noor Saliza after KL’s biggest win in the tournament over Indonesia. “It’s a wake-up call for my players to start putting the ball into goal starting with the semi-finals clash against Selangor.”

“The good news is the forwards are beginning to find the net. We had many chances in our earlier matches but because we could not score despite taking control we ended up in a very tight situation,” she said, adding that the one-day break before the epic clash would give her injured played enough time to recuperate.

“It is not that serious and the break will allow them to recover,” she said. “They are mentally tough and motivated to get back on the field.”

KL coach, Badrul Hisham, quipped: “We played three tough matches without a break and that took a toll on the physical strength of the players. Some received heavy knocks but carried on despite the injuring sustained.”

Kuala Lumpur got off with a bang – crushing Perak 6-2 in their first match but lost 5-1 and 4-1 against defending champions Pahang and Terengganu respectively before knocking Indonesia off the pedestal with an 8-1 victory.

Selangor drew 1-1 with Melaka, edged 2016 runner-up Armed Forces 2-1 and thrashed Johor 5-1 en route to the last four.

Meanwhile, Selangor head coach Ikmal Abdul Jabar, is keeping his options close to his chest when asked if he intends to make drastic changes in his line-up against KL.

“Overall the team has been playing well. If there is a need I will make changes and it all this depends on injuries. There are no short cuts. So far there is no real need for it,” he said.

“We have seen the strength and weakness of KL. They can transform into a ‘dangerous side’ on a good day if given room to move. We too are equally motivated to reach the final and I’m anticipating an exciting match,” said Badrul.

For the record, Selangor defeated Kuala Lumpur 4-2 to finish third in the 2016 inaugural TNB-Tun Abdul Razak Cup.