SAPURA will again bank on the experience of their skipper S. Kuhan to marshal the defense, and also deliver killer blows when presented with penalty corners in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division TNB Cup final at the Tun Razak Stadium today.
Kuhan, a former national skipper, has scored nine goals off penalty corners and has a nagging feeling that he will deliver yet again.
“Penalty corners could well decide which team lifts the TNB Cup tomorrow (today) because I have scored nine goals, while Tenaga’s Amin (Rahim) is the top-scorer with 14 penalty corner goals.
“It will not be easy, as we lost twice to Tenaga in the League, but my team-mates and I are confident we will not be third time unlucky,” said Kuhan.
Tenaga Nasional beat Sapura 3-1 in the Charity Shield, and then 2-1 in the second League match in Johor Baru.
And Amin was on target twice during both the matches.
Kuhan, who did not score against Tenaga this season, is wary of their first runner Baljit Singh and goalkeeper S. Kumar.
“Tenaga have the beat national defenders with them, and Baljit is such a fast runner that he is on your nose before you can attempt to lift the ball.
“And then even if we try a set-piece, Kumar has been and will be difficult to beat,” said Kuhan.
Kuhan and Kumar, team-mates when on national duty, have an excellent understanding on each other’s weakness and strengths as both have practiced flicking and stopping thousands of balls over the years.
Sapura, according to Kuhan, have a sound game-plan to deny Tenaga glory.
“Just like we planned both the semi-final matches against KLHC (Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club), our coaches also have a good plan lined-up to frustrate Tenaga. And if my players keep their cool and patience, we will be celebrating after the final whistle tomorrow (today),” said Kuhan.
SAPURA: Nasihin Nubli (Gk), Ahmad Bazli (GK), Rod hanizam Radzi, Nishel Kumar, M. Vizayan, Marhan Jalil, Ahmad Kazamirul, Adnan Mustafa, Redzuan Ponirin, Jiwa Mohan, Noor Khairul Azrain, Faizal Kamarudin, Hafiz Za karia, Razi Ismail, Jivan Mohan, Azreen Rizal, G. Sasitheran, S. Shanker, Norhanafpe Omar, Mahinder Singh, Redza Maadun, S. Kuhan.