MAYBANK turned giantkillers when they beat Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) League champions Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) 3-2 in the first leg of the TNB Cup semi-finals in Kuala Terengganu yesterday.
In the second semi-finals Tenaga and Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club played to a 1-1 draw, so both the return leg semi-finals are expected to be explosive affairs. Razie Rahim (12th) scored for KLHC, while Izad Hakimi (51st) replied for Tenaga.
The Tigers were trailing by a goal when THT's Fitri Saari scored a field goal in the 31st minute, but Jiwa Mohan (36th) and Shakeel Abassi (45th) gave Maybank the lifeline they needed.
Even though Baljit Singh Sarjab leveled the score to 2-2 for THT in the 50th minute, Pakistan import Shakeel nailed the win with a 58th minute field goal.
It was the first defeat for THT at their own backyard. The only other team to beat THT was KLHC 2-1 in the First Round of the MHL at Bukit Jalil. And for the record, it was only the second win for Maybank this season.
The second leg will be played in Bukit Jalil on Friday: "I can say that we were qite lucky to beat THT at their own turf as we lost 6-1 in Terengganu and 4-3 in Kuala Lumur to them in the League. The second leg is still there to play and the celebrations will be on hold until we finish the other four quarters," said Maybank coach Wallace Tan.
THT coach Sarjit Singh said Maybank goalkeeper German Moritz Knobloch played exceptionally well, but he is confident his charges will bounce back in the return leg.
"Maybank's penalty corner run-out was super clean while their German goalkeeper was also at his best to stop my strikers. But we have the return leg to make amends, and I am confident we will win and advance to the final," said Sarjit.
RESULTS: Semi-finals First Leg: Terengganu HT 2 Maybank 3; Tenaga 1 Kuala Lumpur HC 1.
FRIDAY -- Semi-finals Return Leg: Maybank v Terengganu HT (Bukit Jalil Pitch II, 6pm); Kuala Lumpur HC v Tenaga (Bukit Jalil Pitch II, 8pm).