Thursday, December 4, 2014
UniKL aim to tame Tigers..
HIGH-FLYING UniKL will tread with caution when they face wounded Maybank Tigers in the knock-out stage of the TNB Cup at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil today.
The other Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division knock out will be between Tenaga Nasional and Sapura.
The top-two teams Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) and Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) rest at the sidelines as their semi-final opponents battle it out this weekend as winners of the UniKL-Maybank match will meet THT, while KLHC awaits the winners of the Sapura-TNB knock-out.
Even though entering the crucial stage at the back of a 5-1 win over KLHC, UniKL have their feet rooted on the ground: "We're very happy with the high note 5-1 win over KLHC, but we know the knock-out is a different game all together. "Maybank is well known for doing well in the knock-out stages in previous seasons, and being winless (five draws) this season, the Tigers will definitely be out to make an impact as well,” say UniKL Hockey president Amir Azhar Ibrahim.
For the record, UniKL and Maybank played to 1-1 and 0-0 draws in the League.
UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj said they want to play in the semi-finals: We have continued to improve as a team and are finally getting the results we deserve. That result against KLHC will serve as a strong motivation for us,” he said.
Arul, who is a former Maybank player, said he is well aware of what they are capable of.
“They have talented players such like Shakeel Abassi (Pakistan) and Jiwa Mohan. I also know that Maybank are extremely thorough when it comes to preparing for big games like this. But instead of focusing on our opponents, I would much rather focus on my team and ensure that we give a good performance. That is how I have approached all of our previous games”, said Arul.
In the other knock-out, Tenaga coach Nor Saiful Zaini said finishing third in the League was a disappointment they want to erase in the TNB Cup.
“Our goal was to at least finish in second place. But unfortunately that did not happen and now we must do our best to book a place in the final of the TNB Cup. It won’t be easy as every team will be battling hard to progress to the next round,” said Nor Saiful.
For the record, Tenaga hold a 1-0 and 2-0 win record over Sapura.
FIXTURES: Today: UniKL v Maybank (6pm, Pitch II ); Tenaga v Sapura (8pm, Pitch II).
Sunday: Maybank v UniKL (8pm, Pitch II ); Sapura v Tenaga (6pm, Pitch II).