Monday, April 16, 2007

Tenaga hand Andersen reprieve


TENAGA ...... 2 ANDERSEN ...... 2
TENAGA Nasional Bhd missed a handful of sitters in the first half and
settled for a 2-2 against Andersen Sports Club in the first leg of the
Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) semifinals at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium
Tenaga drew first blood in the 17th minute when Zaharin Zakariah
hammered home after receiving a beautiful pass from Mahinder Singh.
The 200-odd crowd could sense more goals from Tenaga, who were playing
superbly in the Andersen semicircle, but poor finishing from Tajol Rosli,
Mahinder and M.T Kaliswaran kept the score down.
And in the 25th minute, Indian import Len Ayappa flicked home a penalty
corner and Andersen were back in the match.
One minute after the restart, Tenaga won a penalty corner and Nor Saiful
Zaini sent in a well placed low ball which sounded the board.
But Andersen picked up the pace in the last 10 minutes and were rewarded
in the 56th minute when S. Shanker slotted in an opportunist goal.
"We missed too many open goals in the first half. We could have killed
off Andersen's comeback in the first 30 minutes of play but my forwards
were simply not clicking well," said Tenaga coach K. Rajan.
Tenaga's midfield, always reliable with lightning breaks, was clearly
not working yesterday and their forwards were left high-and-dry in the
Andersen semicircle.
"Our midfield just failed to work today (yesterday) and that was why the
forwards received only a handful of good balls in the second half. But I
assure all our fans that Tenaga will make a strong comeback in the return
leg," said Rajan.
Andersen coach K. Dharmaraj said they could have done better but their
penalty corner stopper Conrad Roy Fernandez came down with an allergy a
few hours before the match.
"Conrad contracted an allergy and there were rashes all over his body a
few hours before the match so he had to be given a jab to bring down the
swelling. That is why he could not stop the balls well for Len Ayappa to
score," said Dharmaraj.
Off the five penalty corners Andersen received, Len could only score
"Everytime we meet Tenaga (Andersen lost twice to Tenaga in the League
matches), something always happens to my key players. I hope nothing crops
up on Friday, because we still have a 50-50 chance of making the final,"
said Dharmaraj.