Sapura’s Redzuan Ponirin (left) tackles TNB’s Faizal Saari in their MHL match at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru yesterday. TNB won 2-1. — Pic: HAIRUL ANUAR ABD RAHIM.
TENAGA Nasional kept the second spot in sight when the edged Sapura 2-1 in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru yesterday.
The match was heading for a draw, after Faizal Shaari scored for Tenaga in the 33rd minute, but Sapura found the equaliser off Marhan Jalil in the 55th minute.
However, Amin Rahim turned hero for Tenaga Nasional when he converted a penalty corner in the 67th minute.
In another match, Maybank beat Nur Insafi 2-0 with goals from Engku Malek (50th) and Hafifi Hafiz (59th).
League leaders Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) maintained their grip when they beat UniKL-Ibil 5-1.
“The win has placed us in a good position to finish second and now we will go all out to beat Maybank to achieve the revised target,” said Tenaga Nasional coach Manjit Singh.
Manjit was being realistic, as even if they beat Maybank today, KLHC must fumble against Sapura to take the title to the wire.
“I don’t see KLHC losing points against Sapura tomorrow (today) but if they do, we will be playing them in a winner- takes-all match in Malacca next weekend,” said Manjit.
But if KLHC beat Sapura, they can claim the League title with one match in hand.
Yesterday, national goalkeeper S. Kumar played a big role in Tenaga’s win.
“Sapura has seven penalty corners and Kumar saved six of them, he played exceptionally well to hand us the win,” said Manjit.
The move to take the MHL to states has failed in its objective to attract fans, as the stadiums in Penang and Johor Baru saw only a smattering of supporters turning up.
RESULTS: Tenaga Nasional 2 Sapura 1, Maybank 2 Nur Insafi 0, KL Hockey Club 5 UniKL-Ibil 1.
TODAY: Nur Insafi v UniKL-Ibil (4.30pm), Sapura v KL Hockey Club (6.30pm), Tenaga Nasional v Maybank (8.30pm).
All matches at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru.
P W D L F A Pts
KLHC 8 7 1 0 30 9 22
TENAGA 8 6 0 2 21 8 18
MAYBANK 8 4 3 1 16 9 15
SAPURA 8 3 2 3 16 12 11
UNIKL 8 0 1 7 3 24 1
NUR INSAFI 8 0 1 7 8 32 1