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THE NEW PAPER Monday, June 20 2011 ●

Sports

U-18 Hockey Asia Cup FYI

PANIC STATION: Kazakhstan players surrounding Al’fien Amir (in red) of Singapore.

ST PICTURE

TABLE TENNIS

What: Boys Under-18 Asia Cup When: Until Sunday Where: Sengkang Hockey Stadium Group A: Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan, Kazakhstan, Brunei Group B: Malaysia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, China ■ FIXTURES Today: Taiwan v Pakistan (5pm), Malaysia v S. Korea (7pm) Tomorrow: Kazakhstan v Brunei (5pm), Sri Lanka v China (7pm) Wednesday: Brunei v Taiwan (3pm), S. Korea v China (5pm), Singapore v Pakistan (7pm) Thursday: Sri Lanka v Malaysia (3pm), Pakistan v Kazakhstan (5pm), Taiwan v Singapore (7pm) Saturday: Semis (3.30pm and 5.30pm) Sunday: Final (6pm) ■ TICKETS: Daily tickets are priced at $10 for adults and $5 for students (11 to 16 years old). Season tickets are $60 for all. Children below 10 enter for free. Buy tickets outside the stadium or online at http://singaporehockey.org /asia18/

18-0, but not enough Casoojee unhappy despite another big Singapore win GROUP A

SINGAPORE 18 KAZAKHSTAN 0 ALI KASIM aakasim@sph.com.sg

T

HEY hammered 18 goals past Kazakhstan without reply at the Sengkang Hockey Stadium last night. But it was not good enough for Singapore hockey coach Solomon Casoojee. “It was not up to the standard we set for ourselves,” said the South African. “Our structure and intensity during the match weren’t good enough. “We were 30 or 40 per cent off where we were (on Saturday).” On Saturday, Singapore thrashed Brunei 12-0 in their opening group game and Cassojee was also unhappy about the performance. Did he expect the host nation to score more against the Kazakhs? “The scoreline is immaterial. I’m looking at their game control, structure and consistency,” he said. According to Casoojee, the Kazakhs, who lost 12-0 to Taiwan on Saturday, were more organised and compact last night. But they couldn’t avoid another thrashing. Singapore took only two minutes to open the floodgates through Rahmat Abdul Jalil. When captain Haseef Salim scored his team’s second four minutes later, it became clear that the fans were going to witness another double-digit massacre. Singapore seemed intent on going for

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goals. They wasted little time on celebrations after scoring and instead, picked the ball out of the net and tossed it towards the centre line each time. Said Nur Ashriq Zul’kepli, Singapore’s top scorer in the match with five goals: “We were going for goals because, in a tournament like this, goal difference matters. But it wasn’t our intention to send a message to anyone; we just focused on our game.” Eight of Singapore’s 18 goals also came from penalty corners, with each set-piece different from the last. “We rehearsed our penalty corners in training,” said Haseef, who scored a hat-trick from the short corners. “We actually have quite a number of variations. Today, we showed about 70 per cent of them.”

Hat-tricks Rahmat and Syakiran Ya’kob also notched hat-tricks, while Hidayat Mat Rahim (two goals), Ashraff Alias and Karleef Sasi Abdullah (one each) rounded off the scoring. Next up for Singapore is Wednesday’s showdown against defending champions Pakistan, who beat Brunei 18-0 in an earlier game. Casoojee said his team are relishing the challenge and hope to seal qualification by beating the title favourites. He said: “We have to tighten up on our basic skills (before we face Pakistan). We have got the game to beat them, we just have to raise our intensity. “To win this tournament, we’ve got to beat them twice, so there’s no use holding back.”

OTHER RESULTS GROUP A ■ Pakistan 18 Brunei 0 GROUP B ■ Malaysia 3 China 0

GROUP A P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1 Singapore

2

2

0

0

30

0

6

2 Pakistan

1

1

0

0

18

0

3

3 Taiwan

1

1

0

0

12

0

3

4 Kazakhstan

2

0

0

2

0

30

0

5 Brunei

2

0

0

2

0

30

0

GROUP B P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1 South Korea

1

1

0

0

8

0

3

2 Malaysia

1

1

0

0

3

0

3

3 China

1

0

0

1

0

3

0

4 Sri Lanka

1

0

0

1

0

8

0

Feng loses in final, but achieves season best FENG Tianwei achieved her best result in the ITTF Pro Tour circuit this season after losing to unseeded Wen Jia of China in the China Open women’s singles final in Shenzhen yesterday. Singapore’s world No. 6 and the third seed had beaten the likes of Germany’s Wu Jiaduo (13th seed) and China’s Liu Shiwen (fifth seed) en route to the final, where she lost 2-4 (11-9, 8-11, 5-11, 11-9, 5-11, 7-11) to the unseeded champion. Feng also lost 3-4 to the world No. 55 in the round of 32 in February’s UAE Open. Her previous season best in the Pro Tour was the quarter-finals – which she achieved at the Slovenia Open and English Open in January.

Did well Singapore’s men’s doubles pair of Yang Zi and Zhan Jian also did well by qualifying for the semi-finals (where they were beaten 1-4 by China’s Ma Long and Wang Hao). Compatriots Gao Ning and Li Hu exited in the Round of 16 after losing 1-3 to South Korea’s Lee Sang Su and Seo Hyun Deok. The progress of Gao and Zhan in the men’s singles ended in the Round of 16. Gao lost 4-0 to South Korea’s Joo Se Hyuk while China’s Wang Hao beat Zhan by the same score. In the women’s doubles, Feng and Sun Beibei reached the quarter-finals, where they were beaten 9-11, 11-7, 7-11, 8-11, 11-6, 3-11 by Chinese pair Feng Yalan and Mu Zi. – LIM SAY HENG

Pakistan wary of Singapore threat PAKISTAN coach Rana Mujahid Ali is not underestimating the threat posed by Singapore. While he is confident his team will clinch one of the top-two semi-final berths from Group A, Rana noted: “Singapore are a very good team. “Their skill level has improved from the last time when I last saw them (during the Youth Olympic Games last year). “They will be more difficult to beat than Taiwan (the other Group A contenders); Singapore are strong, both in attack and defence.” Tournament favourites Pakistan got off to a rousing start yesterday, hammering Brunei 18-0 at the Sengkang Hockey Stadi-

um. Forward Waseem Abbas hit seven goals past their opponents, who were thrashed 12-0 by Singapore in the opening match on Saturday. Rana said: “We weren’t up to standard for the first 10 minutes, but after that we were better. The players’ big complaint was the slippery surface – it was difficult to adapt to it.” When asked about the expectations for his team, Rana smiled and replied: “(God-willing), we will win it.” Pakistan play Taiwan in their second group match today at 5pm, before facing Singapore on Wednesday. – ALI KASIM

June20-notenough  

Hat-tricks GROUPA sPakistan18Brunei0 GROUPB sMalaysia3China0 P W D L F A Pts 1Singapore 2 2 0 0 30 0 6 2Pakistan 1 1 0 0 18 0 3 3Taiwan 1 1...