Saturday, September 8, 2012
By Ajitpal Singh
KL Hockey Club (KLHC) continued their unblemished record in the Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division by notching their third straight win in spectacular fashion while Sapura and Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) kept pressure with solid performances yesterday.
KLHC were hardly troubled in their impressive 5-0 win over Nur Insafi-MBI courtesy of goals from Kelvinder Singh, Harvinder Singh, Razie Rahim, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Jalil and Ismail Abu, in Ipoh.
The club lead the standings with maximum points from three matches, scoring 14 times and conceding only once.
KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj was impressed with his team's performance but stressed they need to improve their penalty corner conversions.
"We converted only two of our seven penalty corners. It is, however, a good result and we hope to build from this for the remaining matches," said Dharmaraj yesterday.
Sapura, meanwhile, recorded their second win by overcoming a stubborn Maybank 4-2 in Bukit Jalil.
Pakistan international Muhammad Waqas led Sapura with a brace in the eighth and 41st minutes while Muhd Marhan Mohd Jalil completed the rout in the 30th and 32nd minutes.
Hairul Nizam Abd Rani (35th) and Hafifihafiz Hanafi (48th) replied for Maybank.
"We did well only in spells but nonetheless, we played a good game and made few mistakes. Our penalty corner conversion was better with Waqas scoring a brace.
"I believe he will improve as the league progresses," said Sapura consultant Stephen van Huizen.
Faizal Saari scored a hat-trick to help TNB edge Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) 3-2 in an ill-tempered match, which was handled poorly by the umpires.
Faizal was on target in the 13th, 17th and 67th minutes to take his tally to eight goals.
UniKL replied through S. Selvaraju's seventh minute reverse-stick strike and Muhd Noor Faeez Ibrahim's penalty corner conversion in the 61st minute.
It was a tense match with TNB's Firhan Ashaari and Amir Farid Ahmad Fuzi, both internationals, guilty of rough play in the second half.
Three players, two from UniKL, were sent to the sin-bin for fouls.
As for UniKL, it was their third straight defeat, condemning them to their worst ever start since their debut in 2009.
Results -- Premier Division: Nur Insafi-MBI 0 KLHC 5, Maybank 2 Sapura 4, UniKL 2 TNB 3.
Today -- Division One: UITM v Politeknik-KPT (4pm), Johor HA v BJSS (Taman Daya Stadium; 5pm), Thunderbolts v Armed Forces (6pm)
* Matches at National Hockey Stadium (Pitch Two) unless stated.