Despite picking up their third win in five matches following their close 3-2 win over Penang’s SMK Mutira Impian on Saturday, Bukit Jalil Sports School Under-16 coach Haris Lajid still expects more from his chargers.
Speaking after their Ministry of Education U17 Super League tie at the National Sports Council, Haris said that playing in a higher age-group competition is no excuse considering that the players had been playing together for the last several years.
“It was good that we won,” said Haris. “But the truth was that we played below par. We were playing at around 70% of our true ability. Getting into the attacking third was a problem and this is one issue which the players need to address on their own – they need to foster that mental toughness.
“Sure we might only have had 12 players for the game as several players were injured. But we still lacked that killer instinct. Our opponents were not exceptional but we were not that great either.”
It was Mutiara Impian who put their noses in front after 11 minute when Muhammad Mu’az Zainal Abidin found the back of the net which in turn prodded a response from Awang Muhammad Faiz Awang Fathi in the 24th minute to put things on par.
A goal each from Mohamad Arrieffahmi Mohamad Azam (45th minute) and Ahmad Tasnim Fitri Mohd Nasir (89th) put Bukit Jalil comfortable at 3-1 before Mohamad Shahle Yusoff replied for the visitors deep in injury time.
“This is the first time that we have lost to a team from Bukit Jalil in eight years,” said Mutiara Impian coach Affendi Taib. “There’s a first time for everything and it is certainly a good lesson for my team where this year we have nine players who are under the age of 16-years-old.
“The team from Bukit Jalil made full use of the chances they had. They created four and scored three while for us, we only managed to convert two from five chances.
“The weather also played a role where it was very hot at the start before it started to rain in the second half. That affected play on this artificial turf.”
On the other hand, defending champions SMK Bukit Nenas of Terengganu continued to struggle in the leagus this year when they faltered to a 1-1 draw against SMK Syed Hassan of Perlis.
In the match that was played at the Bukit Nenas Mini Stadium, it was the visiting side from the north who went ahead first when Amirul Adam Saarani fired in from close range in the seventh minute.
But the lead was to last for just two minutes before Muhammad Azrul Jaffri nailed the all important equalizer for both teams to share the spoils.
In the meantime in the Premier League, the U15 team of the Gambang Sports School continued to make a strong impression when they scored their third win of the season.
This time, they beat struggling SMK Datuk Peter Monjutin of Sabah 2-0 in Kota Kinabalu – off goals from Muhammad Izreen Zulkifle in the 47th minute and Arif Shaqirin Suhaimi in the 68th minute.
The win has allowed the boys from Gambang to keep pace with leaders SMK Putera of Kelantan who this week disposed of Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School U15 by the closest of 2-1 margin on the road.
The boys from the east coast have made it five wins out of five for a possible 15 points and a place at the top of the Premier League standings.
But SMK Putera were almost undone when Muhammad Najmi Idham Johan gave the home team some cheer with the lead after 24 minute.
But their patience paid off eventually when Mohammad Imran Samso replied for SMK Putera with just two minutes remaining of the first half.
And just when things seem to be heading for a draw, Muhamad Faizal Hassim blasted in the winner deep in injury time to give SMK Putera the full points.
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.
Bukit Jalil Sports School (U16) 3
SMK Mutiara Impian (PENANG) 2
Gambang Sports School (U16) 1
SMK Sekseyn 11 (SELANGOR) 2
SMK Bukit Nenas (TERENGGANU) 1
SMK Syed Hassan (PERLIS) 1
SMK Tabuan Jaya (SARAWAK) 1
SMK Za’ba (NEGERI SEMBILAN) 4
Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (U15) 1
SMK Putera (KELANTAN) 2
SMK Gunung Rapat (PERAK) 1
SMK Tun Hussein Onn (JOHOR) 2
SMK Datuk Peter Monjuntin (SABAH) 0
Gambang Sports School (U15) 2