Malaysia staved off the challenge of Pan American champions Argentina to walk away with all three points against Argentina, winning 4-2 at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Baru.

22 Sep 2013


India edged England 2-1 in a closely contested match at the 3rd Sultan of Johor cup at the Taman daya Hockey stadium.

Pakistan got off to a winning start in the 3rd Sultan of Johor Cup when they defeated South Korea 3-0 at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium.

It will be a battle between the Asian and Pan American champions when Malaysia takes on Argentina in the 3rd Sultan of Johor Cup at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium.

And the match could well be the perfect mixture for the tournament as both teams combine flair with tactical discipline in their playing style.

But manager Mirnawan Nawawi has issued a warning to his players not to take Argentina for granted despite them having to travel almost 48 hours before making it to Johor baru.

Mirnawan should know better as in was a member of the Malaysian Juniors that lost their opening match in The Junior World Cup against Argentina with a 3-1 scoreline. And it was the same situation as the Argies only flew in 48 hours before the match at Ipoh in 1989.

"We just cannot take things for granted. Argentina are a strong team and have the ability to switch tactics in their matches. I remember in 1989, they faced a lot od issues prior to the match but put on a strong display to defeat us. They are mentally very strong," said Mirnawan.

"We need to be wary of their penalty corners despite them not having Gonzalo Peillat in the team as they surely have other options."

Malaysia are expected to play Faez Hilmi, Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin, Nor Aqmal Abdul Ghaffar and Kavin Karthik in the back four while the midfield will be marshalled by  skipper Mohd Fitri Saari, Muhammad Azri Hassan,Shazril Irwan Nazli.

The strikers to take the field against Argentina are most likely to be Mohd Firhan Ashaari, Mohd Syamim Yusof with Mohd Shahril saabah getting the nod over others.

"Players who have had senior team experience will have to stand up and deliver as they will be key to our success<' added Mirnawan.

"While netting the three points is good in a match, what we are more hopeful is that our performance moves yp a notch.

"Any kind of improvement is welcomed and I am looking at penalty corners to breach the Argentina defence which is normally rock steady."

Malaysia has not played Argentina at junior level for several years hence this will be a vital clash to gauge the Malaysian team ahead of the Junior World Cup.



Argentina arrived in Johor Baru after travelling for 48 hours, 24 of which were hours spent on the plane.

But the Pan American champions look refreshed and aim to pull off a surprise in their opening match against hosts Malaysia in the 3rd Sultan of Johor Cup to be held at Taman daya, Johor Baru.

When it comes to Indian hockey skippers and tournaments held in Malaysia, something just does not add up.

In the Asia Cup last month, the skipper of the Indian senior side Sardar Singh was taken ill upon arriving in Malaysia.

And the same happened with the Indian Juniors as skipper Manpreet Singh has fallen ill. He did not play in the friendly against Malaysia, a match India won with a brace from late inclusion Ramandeep Singh who is in the squad following an injury to Mandeep Singh.

But Manpreet is expected to recover in time for the opening tie against England.

Coach Gregg Clark joked by saying perhaps India should only name their skipper upon arriving or bring a 19th player. But in a more serious tone, the South African said taht India's participation in the 3rd edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup will give it precious match practice that they could do with.

"We are indded fortunate to get a chance to play here as we have played local club sides In India over the past three months. Thus the matches here will give us a platform to try out things we want to do at the Junior World Cup in New Delhi," said Clark.

"It is going to be a tough tournament as all teams here will also be in Delhi this December. So we all want to give a good acount of ourselves.

"All teams will no doubt be testing players, tactics and options ahead of the big event and it is no different for us as well."

India have a well balanced side and they will be looking at players who represnted the senior squad at the recent Asia Cup to not only guide the youngsters but also deliver the goods.

The likes of Kpthajit Singh, Amit Rohidas, Ramandeep Singh gives India the extra edge as evident in their friendly against malaysia last night. Four others, the injured Mandeep, SK Uthappa, Malak Singh and Gurmail Singh were not selected for this tournament.

India take on England in their opening match on Sunday and Clark expects a tough opener.

"The English are a very determined side and are tactically sound as well,: said Clark.

"It is a question of taking our chances while defending with discipline.

"While I will not target the title, someone has to win it. A podium finish with a good all rround performance will do nicely gor us."



The Pakistani Juniors are hoping to kick start their hockey revival with a good outing at the 3rd editon of the Sultan of Johor Cup that gets underway at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Baru this Sunday.

After the Pakistani senior side failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, hockey in Pakistan is at an all time low as this is the first time in the hostory of the World Cup that Pakistan have failed to make it to the final rounds.

And Umar Bhutta, the Pakistan skipper to the Sultan of Johor Cup feels that the tournament is a perfect platform to kick start the revival of Pakistani hockey.

"There is so much dismay back home when we failed to make it to the World Cup. It was a disaster. But we are hoping that we can do well at the Junior World Cup in New Delhi this December so that confidence in the sport can be restored," said Umar.

"The SOJC will help us gauge our form and also help us identify the weakness we need to work on ahead of the Junior World Cup.

"The level of competition here is high, thus I will not target Pakistan to be champions but to get a podium finish.

"One has to understand that we have had a change in coach and that will take some adjusting as well. On top of that we did not have much training matches against overseas teams."

Besides Umar who played in the Asia Cup in Ipoh with the senior side Rizwan Junior, Syed Kashif Shah, Khalid Bhatti and penalty corner ace Mohammad Tousiq.

Pakistan were edged 2-1 in the Junior Asia Cup final in Malacca in may last year and are wary of the Malaysian side whom Umar describes as a very good side.

"I am truly impressed with the Malaysian squad and feel that they and India will be the ones to watch out for at this tournament," said Umar who plays for KL Hockey Club in the Malaysian Hockey League."

Pakistan take on South Korea in their opening match on Sunday and Umar sees them as a coehesive unit that will surely trouble them.

"Korea is always difficult to play and taking them on in the opening match will surely make things more tougher," said Umar.

"We have a strong desire to excel and that is what will help us through in this tournament. I have a bunch of players that are keen to restore pride for Pakistan and will not look at this as pressure.

"It is the Junior World Cup that matters to all of us in the team."

20 Sep 2013

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The 3rd edition of the Sultan Johor Cup will showcase teams in their final stages of preparation for the Junior World Cup to be held in New Delhi this December.


Pakistan’s junior hockey team head coach Manzoor-ul-Hasan Senior admitted  that despite having no role in team selection, he was confident of a good performance by the players in the Sultan of Johor Cup commencing this Sunday.

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