All Northern Affairs in Finals of MELC 2012
Posted on 10 September 2012
ALOR STAR (10 Sept 2012) – It will be an all northern affairs in the finals of the Minister of Education Under-14 League Cup (MELC) 2012 with former champions SMK Tunku Anum of Kedah taking on first time finalist SMK Mutiara Impian of Penang on 29 September 2012.

In the second leg, semi-final that was played on the weekend, SMK Tunku Anum dumped defending champions SMK Bukit Nenas of Terengganu 2-0 – to overturn the one-goal disadvantage they received from the first leg a week earlier. The goals for Kedah were scored by Ahmad Firdaus Ismail in the 9th minute and then Mohd Firdaus Abdullah in the 25th minute.

“We were under pressure from the first leg as we had to overcome a goal deficit,” said Mohd Faizal Rijaluddin, the assistant coach of SMK Tunku Anum. “But we are glad that we made the final where in the next two weeks, we will be looking to improve our tactical play (before we face Penang in the final.”

SMK Tunku Anum (in red and black kit) against SMK Bukit Nenas (in white and black kit)

In the other semi-final tie, a solitary strike from Mohamad Shahle Yusoff in the 17th minute was enough to give SMK Mutiara Impian a 1-0 win over SMK Seri Titiwangsa from Kuala Lumpur. Both teams were tied 1-1 from the first leg and where with the one goal on the weekend, it was enough to allow Penang the chance to land their first ever MELC crown with a 2-1 aggregate.

“We were against a very hostile crowd in Kuala Lumpur but I am very proud of my young boys as they stayed calm throughout,” said Muhd Rakhi Mat Saad, the chief coach of SMK Mutiara Impian. “We scored the goal early which made the remainder of the match even more testing but the players stood against the odds.”

In the meantime in the Ministry of Education Under-17 Youth League, SMK Tunku Anum of Kedah booked their place in the final with a 2-0 win over SMK Seberang Temerloh of Pahang for an aggregate 7-4 victory in the semi-finals. The score at the end of the first leg was 5-4 for the side from Kedah.

And this week, playing at home gave SMK Tunku Anum the confidence to score two more goals off Mohamad Amirul Hisyam Awang Kechik in the 13th minute and Muhammad Syafiq Ahmad in the 31st minute for the side which did not drop even a single game throughout the season.

With the win, SMK Tunku Anum will take on SMK Mutiara Impian of Penang in the final that will be played on 22 September.

SMK Mutiara Impian made the final of the Ministry of Education Youth U17 League despite being held to a 1-1 draw by SMK Syed Hassan of Perlis. Striker Muhammad Jafri Firdaus Chew had given SMK Mutiara Impian the best of start in the fifth minute but the home team drew level with the equalizer off Mohd Ikmal Ibrahim in the 20th minute.

But with the 2-1 advantage from the first leg, it ensured SMK Mutiara Impian’s passage into the next round on 3-2 aggregate.

“There is still a lot of work to be done over the next two weeks so the count down for the final will begin now,” said Noraffendi Taib, the chief coach of SMK Mutiara Impian.

“We do not want to waste the last 14 months of work, so the players will all have to stay focus.”


SEMI-FINALS, Second-leg (8 September 2012)
SMK Tunku Anum 2 (2) SMK Bukit Nenas 0 (1)
SMK Seri Titiwangsa 0 (1) SMK Mutiara Impian 1 (2)
SMK Tunku Anum 2 (7) SMK Seberang Temerloh 0 (4)
SMK Syed Hassan 1 (2) SMK Mutiara Impian 1 (3)

(22 September 2012)

SMK Mutiara Impian vs SMK Tunku Anum (at Stadium Mini SMK Mutiara Impian, 4pm)
(29 September 2012)
SMK Tunku Anum vs SMK Mutiara Impian (at Stadium Mini SMK Tunku Anum, 4pm)

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