UNIKL German import Phillip Stahr twinkled late in the match to hand his side a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Tenaga Nasional to wrestle the top spot in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League at the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh yesterday.
TNB were guilty of committing a string of errors when presented with open chances to seal the match, and handed over the reigns to the unbeaten University side with ease.
UniKL were gifted the lead by TNB’s Amin Rahim in the 20th minute when the defender failed to lift the ball more than 10-feet when attempting an overhead flick.
The ball was snatched just outside the TNB semi-circle, and 19-year-old Amir Farid beat national No 1 goalkeeper S. Kumar for the lead.
But Amin made up for the blunder when he scored off a penalty corner flick three minutes later and the score stood until the 66th minute.
The stars shone on Stahr when he tucked in the winner from close range to give UniKL the well deserved three points.
TNB coach Nor Saiful Zaini was disappointed with his charges: “I am really disappointed with the way my team played today (yesterday) and I will have a look at the recording to see what really went wrong, and rectify the problem areas before the next match.”
As for UniKL coach Darren Smith: “I am happy we kept our unbeaten record against a strong side like TNB. But I predict the tournament to become much more difficult after this weekend.”
In other matches Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) and Yayasan Negri Sembilan (YNS) went on a seven goal rampage each.
KLHC whipped Nur Insafi 7-2 while YNS followed suit with a 7-2 hammering of UiTM.
KLHC, who have only lost to TNB in the Charity Shield, have scored 22 goals in five matches, but have also let in a massive 10 to indicate their defense is suspect.
Yesterday, KLHC scored two goals inside one minute, when skipper Azlan Misron scored off a reverse stick attempt, and immediately after the restart, Chua Boon Huat nailed the second goal.
And after Baljit Singh scored off a penalty corner attempt in the 38th minute, Nur Insafi looked like they were ready to give up the fight.
Ismail Abu made it 4-0 up in the 45th minute but Nur Insafi scored two quick goals off Shabbir Ahmad Khan and Veer achamy Raja in the 48th and 51st minutes respectively.
However, former international Boon Huat doused the comeback fire in the 56th minute, and Azlan made it 6-2 while Ismail sealed the coffin with the seventh goal in the 66th minute.
Meanwhile, YNS bounced back from two defeats (UniKL 2- 1, and KL Hockey Club 6-3), with a massive win over UiTM. Muhamad Imran (eighth, 35th), Deepak Thakur (20th, 29th, 61st), Muhammad Waqas (46th), Shakeel Abbasi (55th),
The UiTM goals were scored by Ahmad Amirul (18th) and Hanif Ibrahim (50th).
Yayasan Negri Sembilan 7 UiTM (3pm) 2, Kuala Lumpur HC 7 Nur Insafi 2, TNB 1 UniKL 2, Maybank 0 Sapura 2.
P W D L F A Pt
KLHC 5 4 0 1 22 10 12
UNIKL-TRC 4 4 0 0 9 5 12
TNB 5 3 1 1 10 5 10
NUR INSAFI 4 3 0 1 10 10 9
YNS 4 2 0 2 15 11 6
SAPURA 5 2 0 3 14 13 6
MAYBANK 5 1 1 3 4 9 4
UITM 4 0 0 4 6 15 0
ATM-AIROD 4 0 0 4 4 16 0
Ipoh CC v Bandar Penawar Sports School (Azlan Shah Stadium, 5pm), ATM Jnrs v Malacca CC (Tun Razak Stadium, 5pm), UniTen v Universiti Sains Malaysia (KLHA Stadium, 5pm).
P W D L F A Pt
ATM JNR 2 2 0 0 6 1 6
BJSS 3 2 0 1 7 3 6
BPSS 2 2 0 0 7 2 6
IPOH CH 3 1 1 1 8 8 4
MALACCA CC 3 1 0 2 3 4 3
USM 4 1 0 3 7 14 3
UNITEN 3 0 1 2 2 8 1