By K. Kandiah
YAYASAN Negri Sembilan (YNS) shocked Charity Shield holders Tenaga Nasional with a solitary goal in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League at the USM Stadium in Penang yesterday.
YNS, who were whipped 6-1 by Sapura on Friday, were not the only ones celebrating the victory, as table-toppers Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) also had a million reasons to smile.
KLHC were held to a 2-2 draw by Maybank on Friday, but the TNB defeat consolidated their grip in Premier Division again.
And the toast for YNS was their Pakistan import Shakeel Abbasi who was in his element, and masterminded the 48th minute attack, for Prabhjot Singh to tuck in the winner.
Shakeel initiated the goal after he beat three defenders and took a sizzling shot from the edge of the semi circle which was dutifully stopped by TNB goalkeeper S. Kumar, but the ball trickled away from him and Prabhjot made it count.
TNB were guilty of bungling all their penalty corners as they had five in the first half, and another two after the breather but the country’s best flicker Amin Rahim was run- out before he could lift the ball.
In another match, Sapura came back from being two goals down to beat bottom-of-the-table UiTM.
UiTM, who had lost all seven matches before yesterday, shocked Sapura in the third minute when Izad Hakim scored and and then consolidated their lead in the 18th minute when Faheed Saifullah was on target off a counter attack.
Ahmad Kazamirul initiated the Sapura comeback with a penalty corner goal in the 47th minute and two minutes later Faisal Kamarudin levelled the score after receiving a cross from skipper S. Kuhan.
And Kazamirul stole the thunder again when he converted another penalty corner in the 55th minute to save the blushes for his club.
YNS coach Hasmizan Ah Sim said: “TNB played well and were in control most of the time but we took that rare chance that came our way and defended well for the win.
“After our defeat (6-1 to Sapura), we had a two hour meeting with the players where it was made clear that playing as a unit wins matches and I am happy that the advice was heeded.”
TNB coach Nor Saiful Zaini said he was disappointed with his charges, as it was their worst performance since the league started.
“We had the same problem when we lost to UniKL but the match against YNS was the worst to date. I felt my players lost their confidence in this match, and now I believe we are not strong enough to win the League title,” admitted the former skipper.
P W D L F A Pt
KLHC 8 6 1 1 38 12 19
UNIKL-TRC 8 5 2 1 14 10 17
TNB 8 5 1 2 16 8 16
YNS 8 5 0 3 26 20 15
NUR INSAFI 8 4 1 3 15 19 13
SAPURA 8 4 0 4 25 19 12
MAYBANK 8 1 3 4 6 12 6
ATM-AIROD 8 2 0 6 9 27 6
UITM 8 0 0 8 11 33 0
P W D L F A Pt
ATM JNR 5 5 0 0 15 3 15
BPSS 5 4 0 1 11 6 12
BJSS 5 3 0 2 10 5 9
IPOH CH 6 2 1 3 12 15 7
MALACCA CC 6 2 0 4 8 8 6
USM 6 2 0 4 8 17 6
UNITEN 5 0 1 4 2 12 1
PREMIER DIVISION: RESULTS -- TNB 0 YNS 1, Sapura 3 UiTM 2, Maybank 0 ATM-Airod 1, UniKL 1 Nur Insafi 1.
DIVISION ONE: TOMORROW -- Armed Forces Juniors v Ipoh CC (Azlan Shah Stadium, 5pm), Bandar Penawar Sports School v Bukit Jalil Sports School (Bandar Penawar, 5pm), Armed Forces Juniors v USM (Tun Razak Stadium, 5pm).