ONLY about 300 fans showed up for the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division Charity Shield at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
And the action on the pitch was also a big disappointment, as double champions Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) started off on a lame note, and went crashing 2-6 to Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC).
The four Argentine, as well as one Pakistan import of THT looked lost, and did little to help their cause -- and hopefully they play better hockey in the remaining matches.
Argentine Jose Leandro Tolini scored a well placed, but not powerful, penalty corner goal in the 15th minute, but THT went crashing in a three-minute penalty corner blitz.
All three KLHC penalty corner goals were taken by Razie Rahim, but the first one was deflected home by Pakistan's Ali Shan (19th), the second deflected in by Nabil Fiqri (20th) and the third was flicked in directly by Razie (21st).
Rashid Baharom added the fourth misery in the 33rd minute, with a simple tap in.
KLHC showed their pedigree, to snatch their fourth Charity Shield when Rashid scored his second in the 49th minute, and Harvinder Singh made it 6-2 in the 58th.
Ismail Abu scored THT's second colsolation in the 52nd.
The other Charity Shields were won in 2011, 2012 and 2014.
KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj said his experience in the MHL tells him its too early to judge the other team.
"We were actually saved by the three consecutive penalty corners, after which THT had to move up and we got our chances to increase the lead off counter attacks.
"However, the score-line does not reflect the game actually, as THT strikers did keep our goalkeeper very busy. I believe we can't take this game as a measurement of our strength, as we have many more good teams to play," said Dharmaraj.
KLHC skipper Razie Rahim said: "Maybe our foreign players settled faster than THT's imports and thats why we were able to win by a comfortable margin."
As for THT coach Sarjit Singh, he believes his players will bounce back.
"After letting in three goals in three minutes, we had to play catch-up and move forward. However, our attempts did not hit the target, while KLHC were deadly in counter-attacks. Leaving the defeat behind, I know we will bounce back," said Sarjit.
RESULTS: Premier Division: KLHC 6 Terengganu HT 2, Tenaga Nasional 2 Maybank 1, Sapura 2 UniKL 1.
Division One Group A: TNB Thunderbolts 3 MBI 0, MASUM-USM 2 MSP-YP-SSP 3, BJSS 3 MSP-YP-SSP 1; Group B: Politeknik 2 ATM Airod 1, Nur Insafi 4 UniKL Young Guns 3.
Women's Group A: ATM Pernama 9 Penang Juniors 0; Group B: KL-Sukma 4 MSN Kedah 0.