MAYBANK turned out to be the early casualty in Premier One of the Malaysia Hockey Legue (MHL) as they fell to their third defeat when they were edged 2-1 by Sapura yesterday.
After losing 2-1 to Tenaga Nasional and 5-1 to Terengganu Hockey Team, the defeat yesterday has put Maybank out of contention for a top-two finish.
And it looks like the Tigers' investment in six foreign players, five Pakistan and one from India, has made little difference to their campaign.
Sapura, with five imports, impressed when they held Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club 3-3 on Friday.
Yesterday, Maybank took the lead off Mohamad Syafiq Zain in the ninth minute, but Dangerous Lee drew level in the 38th minute, while Pakistan import Abdul Haseem Khan nailed the Sapura winner in the 54th minute.
"We have had a good start this season and hope to keep the momentum going in the remaining matches. Today (yesterday) we had to chase after being a goal down, and my players put up a good fight," said Sapura coach Tai Beng Hai who is riding the MHL on seven points after three matches.
Maybank coach S. Vellapan said in all three matches they had to chase in the final quarter and that cost them the matches.
"We were always chasing for goals and when we opened up to counter, that is when we got hit. In the remaining matches, we need to make sure this does not happen," said Vellapan.
RESULTS: Premier Division: Maybank 1 Sapura 2, UniKL 0 KL Hockey Club 1, Tenaga Nasional 0 Terengganu HT 5.
Division One Group A: BJSS 2 MBI 1, MSN-THT v TNB Thunderbolts (Match abandoned, rain).
Group B: UniKL Young Guns 1 SSTMI Thunderbolts 1, ATM Airod 4 PKS-KPM 5, UiTM 2 Politeknik 0.
Women's Group A: MSN-PHT 1 Politeknik 2; Group B: Manjung 0 UiTM Lions 3.