# Johor score thrice in seven minute spell to beat Police 3-2
# Semi-finals: Johor vs Perak; Terengganu vs Pahang
After suffering a 3-1 defeat to Terengganu in the morning hosts Johor came back strongly to down Police 3-2 in the evening to advance to the semi-finals from Group A in the veterans hockey tournament at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Bahru on Friday.
Terengganu topped Group A while Johor finished second. In the cross over semi-finals to be played at the same venue at 8am on Saturday, Group B champions Perak will face Johor while Group A champions Terengganu will face Group B runners-up Pahang.
Pahang and Terengganu were joint champions last year while Armed Forces were third and Negri Sembilan fourth.
It was a do or die battle for Johor against Police and things looked bad for the homesters when they fell behind after 10 minutes. Zulkifli Mohd Zain gave Police the lead with a field goal.
It only woke up Johor from their slumber and in a seven minute spell scored thrice with K. Tharmalingam equalising in the 12th minute from a field attempt. Three minutes later Johor were 2-1 up through Norzaidin Mohd Noor’s field goal before A. Keshmahinder Singh slotted home a penalty corner in the 18th minute to finalise the score.
Police pulled one back on 33 minutes through Muraaly Rama Naidu but Johor held out to make their first semi-finals in the history of the tournament.
“We have achieved our first target of reaching the semi-finals. The battle starts now and it will be a different ball game in the semis. We will workout a strategy against Perak but the players must also have the will to win,” said Johor coach Gurmit Singh, a former national assistant coach.
His Police counterpart Zulkhairi Ariffin was a disappointed man with his team’s exit.
“We played below par against Johor. Still, I am proud of my players who had a good tournament,” said Zulkhairi.
Pahang struck two quick field goals through Nasir Abdul Aziz (24th) and Ashri Muda (27th) after Mohd Noor Said gave Armed Forces the lead in the eighth minute with a field attempt. Kamarudin Misman got the second for the soldiers in the 34th minute from a penalty corner.
The draw was all Pahang needed to finish second and a place in the last four.
Terengganu 3 Johor 1
Police 3 Perlis 1
Johor 3 Police 2
Pahang 4 Selangor 0
Perak 2 N. Sembilan 1
Forces 6 N.Sembilan 1
Perak 1 Selangor 0
Pahang 2 A. Forces 2