Tuesday, February 23, 1999

MM move a step closer (The Malay Mail)

KUALA LUMPUR Malay Mail are just a step away from qualifying for Premier
Two, which kicks off next month.
The newspaper team only need a draw in their last qualifying match
against Armed Forces tomorrow to confirm their berth.
After drawing 1-1 with Kelantan TNB in their opening match on Saturday,
KL MM overcame Police 1-0 at Petronas Sports Complex yesterday.
With the win, KL MM are tied with Kelantan TNB on four points. TNB also
registered a victory yesterday when they edged Armed Forces 3-2 at BSN
Sports Complex.
TNB top the standings with a better goal difference. Police and Armed
Forces are third and fourth respectively - with one point each.
Only the top two teams qualify for Premier Two.
Though reserve player Mohamed Sham Mohamad, who replaced Mohamed Sabri,
steered KL MM to victory five minutes before the end, goalkeeper M.
Pavalamani, who is a former international, had his hands full repelling
the Police bombardments.
Despite the pressure from the Police strikeforce, led by former KL Razak
Cup player Affendy Hamzah, Pavalamani used his experience to advantage by
making a few great saves.
KL MM coach Lucas Kallang, a former Sarawak assistant coach, gave the
thumbs up to Pavalamani.
"He was superb. With his vast experience, Pavalamani made no mistake in
his judgments.
"Pavalamani was tested a number of times but he coped with the pressure.
"We hope Pavalamani can maintain his good performance in our last match
on Wednesday."
But Lucas, handling KL MM for the first time, has reminded the players
not to get carried away with the victory.
"Nothing is confirmed yet till we play the last match. All the four
teams still have a chance of making Premier Two.
"Though we just need a draw against Forces, we are gunning for a victory
and I may change the first XI tomorrow," said Lucas.
Police coach K. Thaiyanathan said it's still not over yet for his team.
"I admit KL Malay Mail and Kelantan TNB hold the edge over us in making
Premier Two.
"We should have at least collected a point today but our strikers blew a
few good chances.
"In tomorrow's match against Kelantan TNB, we must make sure that we
convert the chances created."

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