Gimme, Gimme Gimme

29 Oct 2011

So Near...

...yet so Far!

It was a final that broke so many Ganuan hearts. Their wish to see their team lifting the Malaysia Cup trophy for the first time since 2001 did not materialised after another Ganuan crushed their dream by scoring the winning goal for the opposition.

Former Terengganu forward, Hairudin Omar lived up to his reputation as a big time player by delivering the goods again for Negeri Sembilan. His strike towards the end of the match was enough to see off his former team, who he helped to their only Malaysia Cup triumph a decade ago.

It was a battle of tacticians with Terengganu Head Coach, Irfan Bakti opting to put his best line-up possible and to play their usual attacking game. However for Negeri Sembilan Head Coach, Azrai Khoor, he came with a strategy to stifle his opponent's game and that was to flood his midfield to ensure Terengganu midfielders would not be able to dictate the match.

It worked to perfection as the much vaunted Terengganu forward-line could not function effectively when they could not get their supply of passes. Every player in yellow worked hard to ensure The Terengganu players would not be comfortable on the ball.

But it was a testament to The Turtles fighting spirit and creativity that they managed to threaten the Negeri Sembilan goal on a number of occasion. Both Abdul Hadi Yahya and Ashaari Shamsudin forced the goalkeeper to work hard with their shots.

Terengganu managed to break the dead-lock in the second half. Going into the hour mark Abdul Manaf Mamat went on a solo run from a counter attack and his pass found Ashaari. The forward took a few touches before unleashing a shot which took a deflection that was enough to beat Farizal Marlias.

Negeri Sembilan came back at the Turtle but could not find the break through until ten minutes before time when a misjudgment by Terengganu goalkeeper, Sharbinee Allawee allowed Kunanlan high ball from the left to bounce past him into the net.

It was a goal that put a damper on every Ganuan, on and off the pitch.

Negeri Sembilan were on the ascendancy and five minutes later Hairudin struck with a wonderful volley from a cross from the right. It was a goal worthy to win any final and it was.

The Setiu born player was named Man of the Match and he certainly deserved the award not for just his performance in the final but throughout the campaign as well for Negeri Sembilan.

It was a heartbreaking moment for The Turtles and their fans. But looking back it has been a good season for them with a second place finish in the Super League, their highest since the inception of the new format.

Of course, the victory in the FA Cup back in June ensured they would not be finishing the season empty-handed.


24 Oct 2011



The world mourns the passing of a potential world champion with the death of Marco Simoncelli in a fatal accident during the MotoGP at the Sepang International circuit yesterday. The accident happened in round two when Simoncelli of San Carlo Gresini team, lost control of his bike and fell into the path of two other riders.

Colin Edwards of Yamaha Tech 3' team and Valentino 'The Doc' Rossi on a Ducati machine could not avoid the collision which saw Simoncelli losing his helmet. The former suffered a dislocated shoulder as the result from the collision.

Simoncelli was pronounced dead at around 5pm after efforts to resuscitate him failed. Initially the MotoGP race was red flagged and it was eventually cancelled due to safety reasons. Fans who were unaware of the severity of the incident vented their anger at the cancellation but orders were restored once the news of the fatality filtered down.

The death was the first to have occurred at the Sepang circuit and also the first in a MotoGP race since Daijiro Kato's fatal accident during the 2003 Japanese Grand Prix. However, at last year's San Marino Grand Prix another fatal accident happened that saw another Japanese ride, Showa Tomizawa losing his life.

The Simoncelli tragedy overshadowed the achievement of Malaysian rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin who recorded his best ever finish this season by finishing seventh in the 125cc category. It was the best achievement by a Malaysian rider in a decade and gave the young rider 30 points, propelling him to 17th place in the 125cc Championship.

The Banting born rider could achieve his target of finishing in the top 15 in the final round at Valencia if he could  get a positive result there.


23 Oct 2011

Turtles Rule... Giants Slained

After a ten year wait Terengganu finally returned to the final of Malaysia premier football competition, the Malaysia Cup. They eliminated Selangor 4-1 on aggregate which ended the Red Giants 'Mission 33' and set themselves for a 'double' after winning the FA Cup in June.

Having won the first leg 2-0 Terengganu began the second leg confidently in front of a capacity crowd at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium, Kuala Terengganu. Their striking trio of Abdul Manaf Mamat, Ashaari Shamsuddin and Abdul Hadi Yahya put the visitors' under pressure from the start.

However, it was Selangor who found the net first when Rudie Ramli connected with a low cross from Amirulhadi Zainal and diverted the ball past Terengganu goalkeeper, Mohamad Sharbinee Allawee.

Much to the relief of Terengganu players and fans, the assistant referee's flag was raised indicating the goal would not be counted for offside. It was a wake up call for Terengganu and they realised Selangor would not make it easy for them.

Thus they doubled up their efforts and tested Selangor goalkeeper, G. Jeevanathan in quick succession through Ashaari and Joseph Kalang Tie. However the on-loan goalkeeper stood the tests well to ensure his goal stayed intact.

Then in the 20th minute in a quick counter-attack, Hadi found Ashaari on the right wing and his delivery into the box found Manaf who took it under his control before selling a dummy to Selangor defender, Rozman Roslan. He then beat the unrushing Jeevanathan for his sixth goal of the current Malaysia Cup campaign.

The compact Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium erupted with joy as thousands of Terengganu fans celebrated the goal.

The match was played at a high tempo but there was no overly physical encounter, making the referee's job that much easier. The partnership of skipper Mohamad Mazuki and Faizal Mohamad at the heart of Terengganu defence was working well to thwart the Selangor attack.

Without their inspirational skipper, Amri Yahyah Selangor looked lost at times. Maniam decided to start with Amri on the bench, fearing he would not last the whole match as he was still recovering from an injury.

He only made his appearance in the last twenty five minutes but instead Terengganu were the one inspired when Ashaari when receving the ball from Mazlizam Mohamad from the right, lifted the ball with his toe before unleashing an unstoppable volley past Jeevanathan who dived in vain to stop the shot.

Terengganu were four goals up on aggregate and all seemed lost for Selangor. But credit to them for their fighting spirits, the Red Giants managed to pull a goal back through Safiq Rahim who came in unmarked from midfield to head home from close range.

But with three minutes of the match left, it was too little too late and when the referee blew the final whistle it was a scene of celebration at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah as Terengganu fans celebrated their team progress to their first Malaysia Cup final in ten years.


19 Oct 2011



It was a night of contrasting fortunes for two Terengganu representatives in the first leg of 2011 Malaysia Cup semi-finals. While Terengganu upset the more favoured 32 time winners Selangor at the Shah Alam Stadium, PBDKT T-Team suffered a 4-2 setback at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium, Kuala Terengganu.

Abdul Manaf Mamat put the 2011 FA Cup winners ahead inside two minutes after the match started, with a cheeky stab with his heel after the initial cross by Ashaari Shamsuddin seemed destined to go to waste. It certainly created a deathly silence among the red and yellow cladded Selangor fans while those in black and white rejoiced.

The goal was a piece of flair that should propel Manaf's name into the limelight again. Not stopping there, the striker struck the second for The Turtles just after the half hour mark, this time with a long range low shot that beat Selangor custodian, Jeevanathan all the way.

The visitors were in dreamland but they managed to keep their heads and ensured the score stayed that way until the final whistle was blown by referee, Shokri Nor. It was a big advantage for Irfan Bakti's boys who would fancy their chance in Kuala Terengganu for the second leg to advance to their second final this season.

However in Kuala Terengganu, T-Team found themselves a goal down early in the match against Negeri Sembilan when the visitors broke through on their right through S. Kunanlan. The home defence managed to clear it but it went straight to an unmarked Shahruain Abu Samah whose shot went past goalkeeper, Zairi Hafiezi.

Indra Putra Mahayuddin levelled the score a short while later with a fine header after a good cross from Mohamad Fitri Omar. But a high ball into T-Team's penalty box caused panic and their former player, Hairuddin Omar took full advantage to head Negeri Sembilan in front again.

Zairi lack of command in his area and together with his nervy display would cause his team dear. Mohamad Norfarham Muhammad equalised after a persistent display opened up the Negeri Sembilan defence for him to fire home past Farizal Marlias.

But another ball into the box caused another panic situation and in the end Hairuddin's header found the top corner of Zairi's goal to ignite another celebration among the travelling supporters. The score remained for the remainder of the half.

The home supporters were hoping for another fightback by T-Team in the second half. They pressed on early but a piece of brilliance by Kunanlan saw his shot curled past Zairi who could only watch as his goal was breached for the fourth time last night.

It was the last straw for T-Team Head Coach, Yunus Alif who immediately replaced Zairi with Mohamad Jibrail. The loanee from Pos Malaysia FC put on a good display to keep Negeri Sembilan attacks at bay but unfortunately his team-mates could not find their way again past his opposite number, Farizal.

It would be a huge task for T-Team to overturn a two goal deficit and with the disadvantage on away goals rule it would be a big miracle for the club team to progress to their first ever Malaysia Cup final.


10 Oct 2011

Koo Again...

...Jeremy Retains His MMRC Title

Jeremy Koo and his Abdullah Chan/KRT team staged a great comeback to defend his Malaysian Match Racing Championship title in a pulsating final against Hazwan Hazim Dermawan who skippered the Permai Hotel Sailing Team.

Earlier in the day, dead wind forced the postponement of the semi-finals between Koo and Masyuri Rahmat of the MAF2 team and Hazwan against the UPM Sailing Team skippered by Mohd Romzi Muhammad. Koo and Romzi were leading 1-0 after the first flight which was staged late evening yesterday.

After the lunch break, everybody took to the waters and Koo found himself 2-1 down against a determined Masyuri who qualified for his first MMRC semi-finals after finishing third in the qualifying rounds. It looked like choosing The Malaysian Navy personnel as his opponent could backfire on Koo.

However Koo fought back and in the end won the fifth race to enter the final against Hazwan who won his battles with Romzi with an identical scoreline. Thus it was Koo against Hazwan for a place at the 2011 Monsoon Cup in November.

Masyuri and Romzi would seek consolation in the Petit Final. The former improved considerably on his eighth finish in last year's edition of the MMRC and despite being disappointed at failing to close the deal while leading in the last four, was upbeat about his chance for next year's edition of the MMRC.

The Petit Final was a race to two points and the score were tied after two rounds. However Masyuri dug deep and managed to defeat Romzi in the final race.

The final itself was an intense affair with Koo managing to take the lead but the Hazwan with sound advice from Nik Asyraf Qaedi drew level and then went ahead after three flights. It looked to be all over when Hazwan managed to get Koo penalised for an offence during the pre-start manoeuvring.

This put Koo under some pressure but trusting his instinct he managed to have a good start and during this flight he and his crews went all out to ensure of a fight to the finish. They managed to negate the earlier penalty and came in first to force the 'winners take all' flight.

It was another close fight but after Koo managed to force Hazwan into an offence which incur a penalty, the winner was never in doubt. Koo crossed the finish line well ahead of Hazwan and took the pass to the 2011 Monsoon Cup as the Malaysian Match Racing Champions.

Hazwan will have another shot at the pass as he has been given entry to the Asian Match Racing Championship which would start on Tuesday.