KUALA LUMPUR – Muhammad Danial Abdullah’s first-half strike gave SMK Syed Hassan of Perlis the full points on the road against SMK Seri Titiwangsa of Kuala Lumpur to at once underlined his team’s desire to make the final of the Minister of Education Under-14 League Cup 2014.
SMK Syed Hassan, who had at one time been leading the standings in the first half of the season, was up against some tough resistance from SMK Seri Titiwangsa before Danial struck the winner from inside the box following a defensive confusion.
“I believe that we should qualify for the quarter-finals with ease considering the number of matches left to the end of the season,” said SMK Syed Hassan coach Wan Mohd Izuan Wan Ideris, who has been in the position for the last seven years.
“We have been systematic in our recruitment drive over the last few years and it is because of this that we have not only quality but also players who are willing to play to a system for the state.
“It was tough against SMK Seri Titiwangsa as they controlled the game right from the start before we scored that goal. From then, they pushed hard for the equalizer but I thought that we were more determined in defence.”
Still fighting for one of five available places from the Super League into the quarter-finals this year, SMK Seri Titiwangsa took more of the possession in the second half and while they had several chances from Ahmad Muqri Zulfiqri, they just could not make it count.
“We wasted a lot of chances even though we controlled most of the possession,” said SMK Seri Titiwangsa coach Sabri Abdul Saffar. “But we have to be satisfied with the quality of the game as we created a lot of goal scoring opportunities.
“We can only be proud of the players even if we should miss the cut into the quarter-finals this year. It has been a really hard season for the lads.”
But while the U14 team had to concede to a better side, the older Under-17 squad of the SMK Seri Titiwangsa fared better on the weekend when they dumped the U14 team of Gambang Sports School 3-2 at the same venue.
The home team scored through Muhammad Shahril Hissham in the eighth minute, Muhmmad Shazwan Hazim Mohd Sohaime (33rd) and Muhammad Quwaidir Shahful Bahrin (84th).
Gambang Sports School replied off Muhammad Izreen Zulkiflie in the 3rd minute and Abdul Hadi Hasbollah in the 83rd minute.
“It is difficult for us to make it past the quarter-finals,” said SMK Seri Titiwangsa coach Abdullah Abdul Hamid afterwards. “We have drawn far too many matches this year and given the quality of the oppositions, we have to be realistic.
“We can defend well but we have been finding it difficult to score from the chances that we have created which is a problem. And it will be a bigger problem in the quarter-finals and semi-finals should we go that far.”
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.