Saturday, February 18, 2017
Classic Sunday Showdown...
LION .. KLHC's Harvinder Singh in action against a UniKL player recently...
MILLION-RINGGIT teams Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) and Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) will battle for the Malaysia Hockey League Premier Division title Sunday, with little to separate them.
Both teams ended day tied on 33 points after 13 matches, and No 14 will decide who is the unlucky one.
THT have a 21-goal cushion over KLHC and can afford a draw, while the Charity Shield holders need a clear win.
KLHC won the Charity Shield when they beat THT 6-5 on shoot-out after both teams played to a 2-2 draw in the MHL curtain raiser.
But the return leg encounter Suday is expected to have a clear winner in 60 minutes.
The battle for third will be between Tenaga Nasional and Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) who incidentally will also play their last game against each other Sunday.
Tenaga only need a draw, while UniKL must win to grab the third spot.
“My players know how crucial Sunday’s game is going to be against THT in our chase for the title. We are almost there and knowing that THT have a 21-goal advantage over us so the only way to the title is to win three points,” said KLHC coach Harun Alrashid Samri.
And the good news for THT is that one of their top-scorers Faizal Shaari will be back in action after a hamstring injury.
Faizal scored eight goals before getting injured: "We will be registering Faizal and also Shakeer Butt for the last match as they have recovered from their injuries," said THT coach Sarjit Singh.
In the first leg encounter, Faizal and Jang Jong Hyun scored for THT. Jang, from South Korea, is the Premier Division top-scorer with 22 goals while another THT player Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin is second on 11 goals.
Last season, Jang also top-scored with 16 goals, while Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin was second on nine goals.
"Like in the Charity Shield, I again expect a close game tomorrow (today) but we will be playing to keep our League title, and extend the streak to four consecutive years, so we have our strategy ready," said Sarjit.
THT were League champions in 2014, 2015 and 2016 while before that, KLHC were eight-time consecutive winners.
As Ernst and Young, they won three titles from 2006, 2007 and 2008 -- and after changing their name to KLHC they won five more times before THT took over in 2014.
TODAY: Tenaga Nasional v UniKL (KLHA, 6pm), Kuala Lumpur HC v Terengganu HT (KLHA, 8pm), SSTMI v TNB Thunderbolts (SSTMI, 5pm), Maybank v UiTM-KPT (Malacca, 6pm).
P W D L F A Pts
T'GGANU HT 13 10 3 0 71 11 33
KLHC 13 10 3 0 58 19 33
TENAGA 13 7 4 2 45 19 25
UNIKL 13 7 2 4 35 19 23
MAYBANK 13 5 1 7 29 38 16
THUNDERBOLTS 13 4 1 8 23 42 13
UITM-KPT 13 0 2 11 15 67 2
SSTMI 13 0 2 11 7 68 2