UNIVERSITI Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) almost became giant killers Saturday, but collapsed in the fourth quarter to hand Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) full points in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League.
Top-of-the-table KLHC were tied 1-1 with UniKL until the 48th minute, but a 15 minute onslaught saw them collapsing like dominoes.
KLHC took the lead off Ali Shan in the fourth minute, but Richard Sykes equalsied in the 25th minute and the match looked like it was heading for an upset.
However UniKL, who have yet to win a single point this season, went down tamely to goals from Noor Faeez Ibrahim (48th) and Razie Rahim (51st, 52nd).
The difference yesterday was that UniKL players did not have the confidence in the last quarter, while experienced hands KLHC went in the last phase of the match with determination.
"Yes, we almost had our moment under the spot-light, but when my players went in for the last 15 minutes I could see from their body language that they were saying 'on no, we have to go through another 15 minutes.
"Lack of confidence in themselves was whay we lost the match," said UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj.
Arul, who is also the Project 2016 coach, hopes his charges will show progress before the Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan.
"We have 12 Project 2016 players in this team, and my main worry now is their lack of believe in themselves. This needs to be rectified before we head to Kuantan to qualify for the Junior World Cup," said Arul.
KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj and hie men had a different mindset: "Going into the last quarter, I told my players that they have a lot of time to win the match and I expected them to score at least one, but they did even better by scoring three. They had the confidence, and we retained our lead and it looks like the final match on Sept 4 (against Terengganu Hockey Team) will decide who lifts the title."
RESULTS: Premier Division -- KLHC 4 UniKL 1, Terengganu HT 2 Tenaga 1.
Division One: Group A: MSN-THT 5 BJSS 2; Group B: ATM Airod 3 SSTMI 1, PKS-KPM 1 UiTM 4, Nur Insafi 2 Politeknik 1.
Women: Group A: ATM Pernama 4 Politeknik 0.
SATURDAY: Division One: Group B: PKS-KPM v UniKL Young Guns (7pm, Pitch I).
SUNDAY: Premier Division -- Sapura v KLHC (6pm, Pitch II), Terengganu v Maybank (Batu Buruk, 6pm), uniKL v Tenaga (8pm, Pitch II).
Division One: Group A: MSP-YPSSP v BJSS (Kuantan, 5pm), MBI v MSNT-THT (Azlan Shah, 5pm); Group B: UiTM v UniKL Young Guns (5pm, Pitch I), Nur Insafi v SSTMI (Sg Petani, 5pm), ATM Airod v Politeknik (Tun Razak, 5pm).