KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) will be looking to strengthen their grip in the Premier Division when they play Sapura Friday in the Malaysia Hockey League.
The second round begins this weekend and leaders KLHC, who could only edge Sapura 3-2 last Sunday, are looking for a better showing.
“My players put themselves under unnecessary pressure by letting in a first minute goal, and then here were some silly mistakes in the end game which saw Sapura almost snatch a draw last weekend.
“However, I am confident that the second meeting will not be the same as we aim to pull further ahead to defend out League title,” said KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj.
The double champions have only dropped points in the 3-3 draw against Tenaga Nasional in the first round, and are four points clear of chasing Tenaga and Maybank who have 12 points each.
Sapura are fourth on the standings with eight points after an erratic first round display.
The MHL this season is much more competitive with the inclusion of a big pool of foreign players, mainly from Pakistan, while the national players are also keenly watched by coach Paul Revington as they have two important assignments this year.
The Semi-finals of the World League from June 29-July 7 in Johor and the Asia Cup from Aug 24-Sept 1 in Ipoh, are both qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup.
And after the MHL ends, Revington’s men will play six matches against China starting on May 19 and the coach has also plans for a one-week tour of South Africa in early June.
In the World League, No 13 Malaysia are in Group A with world No 1 Germany, South Korea (eight) and the champion from round two of the World League.
In Group B are England (four) and Pakistan (five) while two more will be decided after the Round Two of the World League.
And in the Asia Cup, Malaysia are in Group A with Pakistan, Japan and Taiwan, while in Group B are South Korea, India, Oman and Bangladesh.
TODAY: Premier Division -- KLHC v Sapura (National Stadium I, 6pm), UniKL v Terengganu (National Stadium II, 6pm), Nur Insafi v Tenaga (National Stadium II, 8pm).
Division One: Ipoh City Council v TNB Thunderbolts (Azlan Shah Stadium, 6pm).
TOMORROW: Premier Division -- Maybank v Tenaga Nasional (National Stadium II, 6pm).
Division One: Sunday 2030 v TNB Thunderbolts ((National Stadium I, 6pm), UniTen v Bukit Jalil SS (National Stadium II, 8pm), SSTMI v UiTm (Taman Daya, 6pm).
SUNDAY: Premier Division -- UniKL v Sapura (National Stadium I, 6pm), Nur Insafi v Maybank (National Stadium II, 6pm), KLHC v Terengganu (National Stadium II, 8pm).
P W D L F A Pts
KLHC 6 5 1 0 27 8 16
TNB 6 3 3 0 23 12 12
Maybank 6 4 0 2 21 17 12
Sapura 6 2 2 2 15 14 8
UniKL 6 2 0 4 9 18 6
Tgganu 6 1 1 4 13 19 4
N Insafi 6 0 1 5 6 26 1