KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) slammed Tenaga Nasional 3-1 to start their Malaysia Hockey League Round Two with a bang at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
The unbeaten four-time consecutive double champions, who had beaten Tenaga 5-3 in the Charity Shield, were in a mean mood as they went out searching for their ninth League title.
However, KLHH's clean run was marred when Nabil Fiqri was red carded in the 49th minute.
KLHC got their goals off Fareed Ahmad from Pakistan (12th), Nabil Fiqri (13th) and Harrison Page (25th), while Amin Rahim scored for Tenaga in the 39th minute.
"Nabil claims he was hit first by Tenaga player (Azammi Adabi) and he retaliated and was flashed the red card. But being an experienced (national player) he should have checked his temper. He will surely miss the next match (against Maybank) but we have the strength on the bench to replace him," said KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj.
Dharmaraj believes his charges do not need to place the pressure on themselves by playing for high scores, as three points would do.
"We need to keep the winning momentum, and the margin is not important to me, as we play to keep the League title," said Dharmaraj.
Interestingly, both the red cards in the MHL has been flashed to national players, as the first was to sidelined Faizal Saari from Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) last week.
In another Premier Division match, Sapura started on a low note but went on to hold Maybank to a 3-3 draw. Maybank's goals were scored by Jiwa Mohan (10th, 42nd) and Haseem Khan (46th), while the Sapura goals came off Pakistan import Khasif Ali (21st, 23rd) and Muhammad Zubair (55th).
THT were lucky to win 4-2 against UniKL in Kuala Terengganu yesterday, as the University side scored first and were at 2-2 at one stage. The star-studded THT were rescued by a low-key player Syamiru Aiman who scored four goals (eigtht, 16th, 31st and 35th) and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (55th). The UniKL goals were scored Nor Aqmal (second) and Phillipp Stahr (26th).
RESULTS: Tenaga 1 KLHC 3; Maybank 3 Sapura 3; THT 5 UniKL 2.
P W D L F A Pts
KLHC 6 6 0 0 22 6 18
TERENGGANU 6 5 0 1 27 12 15
TENAGA 6 3 0 3 11 11 9
SAPURA 6 1 2 3 11 19 5
MAYBANK 6 0 3 3 11 16 3
UNIKL 6 0 1 5 4 22 1