Sunday, September 2, 2012

MHL: Awesome start

KLHC’s Mohd Syamim Mohd Yusof (in yellow) and Sapura’s Jiwa Mohan tussle for the ball at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday. Pic by Goh Thean Howe.

By Ajitpal Singh

 KL Hockey Club (KLHC) got off to a blazing start in the Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division when they hammered Sapura 5-0 in the Charity Shield-cum-league match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
   KLHC, the double champions last season, were flawless in the first half, taking a 5-0 lead but the score-line could have been bigger if not for poor finishing.
  National striker Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Jalil opened the floodgates in the seventh minute after converting a rebound before defender Razie Rahim scored from penalty corner set-pieces in the 16th and 18 minutes.
  Former national junior Harvinder Singh and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin completed the first half rout in the 23rd and 24th minutes.
  Sapura goalkeeper Kairulnizam Ibrahim did well to deny KLHC from increasing their lead with several fine saves before half-time.
  KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj said the impressive win will put his team on a good stead towards retaining their title.
  "I am happy with the performance of my players. We controlled the first half and made use of our opportunities well but we could have added more goals in the second half," said Dharmaraj yesterday.
  "I want my boys to maintain their good form for our remaining matches. We must not take our opponents lightly."
  KLHC will play Nur Insafi-Perak, who came from behind to edge Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) 3-2 yesterday for a winning start, today.
  Abdul Haseem Khan sounded the board twice for Nur-Insafi in the eighth and 39th minutes before Kashif Ali scored their winning goal in the 41st minute. UniKL replied through Muhd Noor Faeez Ibrahim in the 12th and 33rd minutes.
  In an earlier match, Faizal Saari hit a brace to help Tenaga Nasional Berhad earn a hard-fought 2-2 draw with Maybank.
  Faizal, an international, scored his first off a penalty corner set-piece in the 14th minute before helping his team avoid defeat with a splendid field attempt two minutes from time.
  Pakistan duo Shakeel Abbasi and Muhammad Waqas replied for Maybank in the 39th and 65th minutes.
  Results --Premier Division: TNB 2 Maybank 2, Nur Insafi-MBI 3 UniKL 2, KLHC 5 Sapura 0.
  Division One: Armed Forces 1 Uniten 1, Politeknik-KPT 2 Johor HA 4, BJSS 1 Thunderbolt 2.
  Today's Fixtures -- Premier Division: Maybank v KLHC (Pitch Two; 6pm), TNB v Nur Insafi-MBI (Pitch One; 6pm), Sapura v UniKL (Pitch Two; 8pm)
  Division One: UiTM v Armed Forces (Pitch One; 4pm), Thunderbolts v Uniten (Pitch One; 8pm).