Monday, August 29, 2016

Sapura above water after 11 years...

PIC: KLHC's Haziq Samsul (left) challenges TNB's Amir Farid (centre) for the ball during their TNBMHL 2016 Premier League match at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium Sunday. KLHC 2-2 TNB.

SAPURA last won the League title in 2005, the year they also won the double by lifting the Overall crown, and 11 years later their head is finally above water in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League.
  Coach Yahya Omar and his men have nine points after four matches, and top the standings by a single point over Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC).
  However, double champions Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) have hit a dry patch, as first they lost the Charity Shield (2-1 to KLHC) and are now languishing in the middle of the table with only four points after four matches.
  Yahya believes it all up to his players, as they have the fitness and skills, only the hunger for titles need to be challenged.
  "If we play like we did against THT (won 2-0) where my players showed their hunger for victory, I believe we will finally lay our hands on a title this season.
  "As for the League, we still have Tenaga Nasional to play before ending the first round. And then, we have five more matches to play with determination to realise our League dream," said Yahya.
  Today, Sapura will play Division One outfit ATM Airod in the Tan Sri P. Alagendra Cup quarter-finals.
  ATM Airod have played six matches, with only one win to show and are at the bottom of the standings.
  "We should get past the quarter-finals, but the last-four is where we meet true challengers for the Alagendra Cup," said Yahya.
  The Alagendra Cup's top match of the day will be between THT and KLHC at the Batu Buruk Stadium.
  "We are in bad shape in the League because we missed too many penalty corner and field chances. The League title now looks like a toss between KLHC and Sapura, but the Alegandra Cup is stil within our reach and my players know what to do tomorrow (today)," said THT coach Sarjit Singh.
  KLHC coach Harun Rashid said: "Our end game in the third quarter needs to be tightened as we lost many points during that period. The Alagendra Cup quarters will be tough, but not impossible."
  TUESDAY: ALAGENDRA CUP -- Quarter-finals: Terengganu Hockey Team v Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (Batu Buruk, 5.30pm); Politeknik Malaysia v SSTMI (Taman Daya, 5pm); Sapura Hockey Club v ATM Airod (KLHA, 8pm); Universiti Kuala Lumpur v Tenaga Nasional Berhad (KLHA Stadium, 6pm).


            P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts

SAPURA      4  3  0  1  9  6  9
KLHC        4  2  2  0  10 6  8
MAYBANK     4  2  0  2  8  11 6
THT         4  1  1  2  10 9  4
UNIKL       4  1  1  2  3  6  4
TENAGA      4  0  2  2  9  11 2

Terengganu HT and KLHC slide...

TENAGA Nasional pulled off another upset in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League when they came back from two goals down to hold Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC)  2-2 Sunday.
    This came at the back of holding double champions Terengganu Hockey Team  (THT) 4-4 on Friday.
  However, double champions Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) were placed in a hopeless position when they were beaten 2-0 by Sapura.
   KLHC were 2-0 by the third quarter when all-local outfit Tenaga fought back to steal a point in the fourth quarter.
   The KLHC goals were scored by Pedro Lopez (5th) and NamHyunwoo (39th)  while the Tenaga goal scorers were Syed Syafiq (53rd) and Firdaus Omar (60th).
   Tenaga coach Amin Rahim was naturally delighted with the two points which they shaved off the two title contenders.
    "This is a grand moment for my players as they have pulled off two important draws against  favourites this weekend.
     "Before they went on the pitch I told them they have nothing to lose and everything to gain in this match and they did not disappoint," said Amin.
   KLHC coach Harun Rashid rued the four points they lost this weekend. 
  "On Friday we drew 1-1 with UniKL and today (Sunday) were held by Tenaga. This can't continue if we want to chase for titles. In both games we took the leads and then allowed the other teams to claw back," said Harun.
  RESULTS: KLHC 2 Tenaga Nasional 2, Sapura 2 Terengganu HT 0, UniKL 1 Maybank 2.


        P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts

SAPURA      4  3  0  1  9  6  9
KLHC           4 2  2  0  10 6 8
MAYBANK  4  2  0  2  8  11 6
THT             4  1  1  2  10 9  4
UNIKL         4  1  1  2  3  6  4
TENAGA     4  0  2 2  9  11 2

Saturday, August 27, 2016

UniKL, Tenaga riding on tidal draws..

Pic: UniKL's Shazrul Imran (left) challenges KLHc's import Nam Hyunwoo during their famour 1-1 draw on Friday.

UNIVERSITI Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) and Tenaga Nasional will be riding on their mammoth draws against title favourites when they face another challenging time Sunday in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League.
  On Friday, UniKL held Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) 1-1, while all-local outfit Tenaga Nasional did the unthinkable by holding double champions Terengganu Hockey team (THT) 4-4.
  And Sunday, UniKL will play Maybank while Tenaga square off against KLHC.
  Tenaga assistant coach M. Kaliswaran said they hope to ride the draw tide in another gruelling match.
  "We are the only team in the Premier Division without foreign signings, and it was a proud moment when we held double champions THT to a draw (THT have six foreign signings).
  "And tomorrow (Sunday) I believe my players will be riding on that boost when we face another title contender," said Kaliswaran.
  It was Tenaga's first point after three matches, and they lost narrowly 4-3 to Maybank and 1-0 to UniKL previously.
  As for UniKL, coach Arul Selvaraj echoed the same sentiments.
  "After grabbing a point from table-toppers KLHC, I believe my young brigade will face their next match with more confidence.
  "But we have our feet firmly on the ground, and even though we had beaten Maybank last week in the Tan Sri Alagendra Cup (1-0), it will be entirely a different proposition this time around.
  "We need to be more clinical, as at times we are guilty of wasting too many chances," said Arul.
  SUNDAY: KLHC v Tenaga Nasional (KLHA, 6pm), Sapura v Terengganu HT (Tun Razak, 8pm), UniKL v Maybank (KLHA, 8pm).


        P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts

KLHC    3  2  1  0  8  4  7
SAPURA  3  2  0  1  7  6  6
THT     3  1  1  1  10 7  4
UNIKL   3  1  1  1  2  4  4
MAYBANK 3  1  0  2  6  10 3
TENAGA  3  0  1  2  7  9  1

Day of the underdogs...

Pic: UniKL players celebrate their hard-fought draw against KLHC

UNIVERSITI Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) almost turned into Giant-killers when they held fancied Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) 1-1 in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League yesterday.
  And Tenaga Nasional also rose to the occasion to hold double champions Terengganu Hockey Team 4-4.
  KLHC's longest serving player, since their Arthur Anderson days, Roslan Jamaluddin was a dejected man after the draw.
  "We only played in patches and were well below what we are capable of. This is not the way to play if we want to claim a title this season," said Roslan who was a former international goalkeeper.
  KLHC forced the first penalty corner of the match in the third minute and South Korean import Nam Hyun Woo sent in a low drag flick that beat UniKL custodian, James Caragh, all the way.
  However, Off their second penalty corner in the 50th minute UniKL found their equaliser when Mohamed Tousiq sent in a deft drag flick after being set up by Najmi Farizal from a delightful set-piece.
  "We played like it was a friendly game and lost two precious points, this will allow the other teams to claw back in the later stages of the League," said Roslan.
  UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj was delighted with the point: "I must say my men showed tremendous spirit and were not daunted by the fact that they were up against a formidable side.
  "We absorbed the pressure well and slowed down the pace in the first three quarters to break their rhythm. To us the draw is as good as a win and I hope that this match will give confidence to the players to start believing in themselves."
   RESULTS: TODAY: Premier Division -- Maybank 1 Sapura 2, UniKL 1 KLHC 1, Tenaga 4 Terengganu HT 4.


        P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts

KLHC    3  2  1  0  8  4  7
SAPURA  3  2  0  1  7  6  6
THT     3  1 1  1  10  7  4
UNIKL   3  1  1  1  2  4  4
MAYBANK 3  1  0  2  6  10 3
TENAGA  3  0 1  2  7  9  1

Thursday, August 25, 2016

UniKL: Giant-killers or bust...

PIC: Arul Selvaraj

UNIVERSITI Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) have a chance to turn giant-killers, provided they upset Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division leaders Friday.
  Riding on two wins from last weekend, UniKL are hoping for another positive show against KLHC at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium.
  UniKL edged Tenaga Nasional 1-0 in the League Sunday and on Tuesday beat Maybank, also 1-0, in the Tan Sri P. Alagendra knockout tournament.
  Their only blemish so far is a 3-0 opening defeat to Sapura.
  KLHC, on the other hand, got off to a rousing start by defeating double champions Terengganu Hockey Team 2-1 in their opening match before trashing Sapura 5-2.
  Therefore UniKL are  bracing themselves for all possibilities, asKLHC look much stronger this year despite not having Razie Rahim and Nabil Fiqri.
  "There is no doubt that KLHC are the favourites to win this match and getting even a point off them can be considered a victory of sorts," said UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj.
  "We need to be tight at the back and pack the midfield as they have quality players that can capitalise on half a chance.
  " And then there is also the penalty corners that we need to avoid conceding as KLHC are deadly in this area."
  UniKL have been relying on good tactical play to overcome their more fancied opponents thus far.
  "We need to focus on our game and not pay to much attention to any particular player in KLHC as realistically we have nothing to lose but everything to gain from this match."
  FRIDAY: Premier Division -- Maybank v Sapura (Malacca, 6pm), UniKL v KLHC (KLHA, 6pm), Tenaga v Terengganu HT (KLHA, 8pm).
  ALAGENDRA CUP -- Quarter-finals (Aug 30): Terengganu Hockey Team v Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (Batu Buruk, 5.30pm)); Politeknik Malaysia v SSTMI (Taman Daya, 5.00pm)); Sapura Hockey Club v ATM Airod (KLHA, 8.00pm); Universiti Kuala Lumpur v Tenaga Nasional Berhad (KLHA Stadium, 6.00pm).


        P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
KLHC 2  2  0  0  7  3  6
THT 2  1  0  1  6  3  3
SAPURA 2  1  0  1  5  5  3
UNIKL 2  1  0  1  1  3  3
MAYBANK 2  1  0  1  5  8  3
TENAGA 2  0  0  2  3  5  0