The Under-16 team of Bukit Jalil Sports School defied the odds to beat SMK Seberang Temerloh of Pahang 2-1 this week to make the final of the Ministry of Education League Cup (MELC) Under-17 which will be played on 30 October 2015.
Following their 2-2 draw from the first leg in Kuala Lumpur the previous week, the advantage was on SMK Seberang Temerloh to win their tie at home.
But Bukit Jalil was all business as they defended in numbers and played a compact game to frustrate SMK Seberang Temerloh as the latter then went on to pick up three yellow cards in the process.
Two first half goals from Mohd Izwan Iskandar Gazali in the 37th minute and Muhamad Nazirul Hasif Mailang at the end of the first half gave Bukit Jalil the well-deserved lead as SMK Seberang Temerloh was thrown into confusion.
“The boys played their hearts out to make the final. We were confident that we can win here (in Temerloh). We created the opportunities but this time round, we converted the chances that we had,” said Bukit Jalil coach Kok Keng Lin, after their 4-3 aggregate win.
“There were some mistakes for sure. And this is something which we need to work on before the final (against SMK Putera of Kelantan). There are some slight injuries in the team but it is not too bad.
“There will not be any special tactics which we will work on for the final. We will just have to play our normal game and avoid making mistakes.”
Even though SMK Seberang Temerloh did pull a goal back off a 65th minute penalty from Zainal Abidin Hamzah, it failed to ignite a revival as Bukit Jalil stuck to their guns to make their first final since 2009.
“We made some mistakes even though I feel that this is the best game that we have played the whole season long,” said SMK Seberang Temerloh assistant coach Rosidi Osman afterwards.
“This Bukit Jalil team is very mature as they have been playing together for years. They have good combinations and they pressed their opponents hard. Certainly, they deserved to be in the final.”
In the meantime, SMK Putera booked their place in the final of the championship following their close 1-0 win over SMK Zaba of Negeri Sembilan in the second leg semi-finals for a 2-1 victory on aggregate.
The first leg result in Kuala Pilah was 1-1.
Despite playing at home, SMK Putera struggled for long periods before they were able to the score the only goal of the game in the 39th minute through Muhamad Azrul Hakim Mohd Zaki.
For the record, SMK Putera was the inaugural winners of the Ministry of Education League Cup (MELC) U17 back in 2008.
The MELC and 100PLUS Super Cup are among several youth programmes and competitions supported by 100PLUS, Malaysia’s leading isotonic beverage.
The others include the 100PLUS Malaysian Junior Golf Open and the 100PLUS National Junior Badminton Circuit. 100PLUS is recommended by the National Sports Council.
RESULTS – SEMI-FINALS, Second leg
SMK Putera (KELANTAN) 1 (2)
SMK Zaba (NEGERI SEMBILAN) 0 (1)
SMK Seberang Temerloh (PAHANG) 1 (3)
Bukit Jalil Sports School 2 (4)
Note: Aggregate results in bracket
FINAL – FIXTURE (30 Oct 2015)
At Mini Stadium of Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School, Johor
Kick-off at 4.15pm
SMK Putera (KELANTAN) vs Bukit Jalil Sports School