Long Break Will be a Factor in Semi-Finals of MELC 2012
Posted on 27 August 2012
KUALA LUMPUR (27 August 2012) – The long break due to the fasting month will be a factor in the first-leg, semi-finals of the Minister of Education League Cup 2012 that will take place on 1 September 2012.

In the semi-finals this year, SMK Bukit Nenas of Terengganu will entertain SMK Tunku Anum of Kedah while SMK Mutiara Impian of Penang will play SMK Seri Titiwangsa in the other tie.

Muhammad Rakhi Mat Saad, the chief coach of SMK Mutiara Impian, said that while teams can train as much as they like during the fasting month, the lack of ‘competitive atmosphere’ will affect their tenacity and also the spirit of competition in their first game after the group stage.

“A long break just prior to a big match is never a good thing but other than training, we have also tried to get in some competitive game under our belt. The good thing though is that this factor will also affect the other teams, so it is all fair,” said Muhammad Rakhi, whose team will take on SMK Seri Titiwangsa at home at their home turf of the Stadium Mini Mutiara Impian this Saturday afternoon.

“This is our first semi-finals since 2008 (before losing to SMK Tunku Anum of Kedah), so we have tried to maintain the same momentum as we had done before the fasting month. The boys are in the right frame of mind and they are all eager to book their place in the semi-finals.”

On the other hand in the Ministry of Education Youth League for Under-17, Abdul Hadi Muhamad, the chief coach SMK Seberang Temerloh of Pahang will be hoping that playing at home at the Stadium Mini SMK Seberang Temerloh will give them the slight advantage over tournament favourites SMK Tunku Anum of Kedah.

“We have tried to work on minimizing mistakes during the break but with the long fasting month, it was always going to be tough,” added Abdul Hadi.

“We will be up against the tournament favourites, who did not lose a single game during the group stage. So we know the competition will be tough. It is up to us to make sure that we go into the game with confident and hope that we make full use of the chances that come our way.”

The other semi-final will see SMK Mutiara Impian of Penang taking on SMK Syed Hassan of Perlis at the Stadium Mini Mutiara Impian.

SEMI-FINALS, First-leg (1 September 2012)

SMK Bukit Nenas vs SMK Tunku Anum (Stadium Mini SMK Bukit Nenas, 4pm)
SMK Mutiara Impian vs SMK Seri Titiwangsa (Stadium Mini Mutiara Impian, 3.30pm)
SMK Seberang Temerloh vs SMK Tunku Anum (Stadium Mini SMK Seberang Temerloh, 4pm)
SMK Mutiara Impian vs SMK Syed Hassan (Stadium Mini Mutiara Impian, 5.15pm)
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