Tenaga’s Mohd Fairuz Saari (left) takes a shot at goal in their MHL semi-final second leg clash against Maybank at the Tun Razak Stradium yesterday. Tenaga advanced to the final on a 4-3 aggregate. — Pic: MOHD YUSNI ARIFFIN
TENAGA Nasional crawled into the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division final on a single goal aggregate and will play Sapura for the TNB Cup at the Tun Razak Stadium on Friday.
Yesterday, Tenaga drew 2-2 with Maybank while Sapura drew 1-1 with Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club but Tenaga and Sapura entered the final on 4-3 and 5-3 aggregates respectively.
Maybank were shocked in the first minute when Faizal Shaari scored a field goal but they never gave up and Hafifi Hafiz equalised in the 14th minute.
Riduan Nasir then gave Maybank the lead with a 39th minute goal but Amin Rahim took Tenaga into the final with a 50th minute penalty corner goal.
"We had the match in our grasp after scoring a first minute goal but credit to Maybank players who never gave up and even went on to take the lead.
"We were saved by Amin who has been scoring consistently in penalty corners and now we have one week to plan for the final," said Tenaga coach Manjit Singh.
Maybank coach S. Velappan congratulated his players even in defeat.
"My men gave their best but luck was not on our side. We gave Tenaga a good fight and I am happy with the way my charges played in both the semi-finals," said Velappan.
In the other semi-final, Sapura walked onto the pitch with a two-goal cushion and stayed in their own half as KLHC strikers tried force through the defence.
With a potent strikeforce made up of Ismail Abu, Kelvinder Singh, Chua Boon Huat and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, the fans expected KLHC to score but Sapura held their ground.
In the second half, Sapura were again contented with playing a defensive game while KLHC players kept winning penalty corners instead of scoring.
All the penalty corners were wasted until the 46th minute when Shahrun Nabil ran in and converted a Razie Rahim grounder into goal.
However, Sapura were rewarded for their patience when they mounted a rare counter-attack in the 63rd minute and Mahinder Singh won them their first penalty corner of the match.
Former national skipper S. Kuhan delivered the killer blow with a low flick which confirmed his team's spot in the final.