LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Coach Sarjit Singh annd his charges celebrate their MHL League title on Friday.
NATIONAL player Faizal Shaari made sure Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) lift the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) League title with a goal and an assist against Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) yesterday.
THT's late charge saw them win 2-1, and top the standings unbeaten on 24 points. KLHC finished second on 20 points.
KLHC went into the match as the Charity Shield and Alagendra Cup champions, but THT stopped them at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium yesterday.
THT only needed a draw for the League title, but Nabil Fiqri gave KLHC the lead in the 38th minute and it looked like they were ready to lift their third title.
But a stroke of luck, when South Korean import Jang Jonghyun was penalised for delaying tactics, saw Faizal Shaari equalising for THT in the 50th minute.
And three minutes later, Faizal beat two players with a darting run to pass the ball to Argentinian Lopez Barreiros -- who made sure with a deft tap to beat goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin.
"I am not one to brag, but we have yet to lose a match in the MHL (seven wins and three draws) and did not intend to give away a third title to KLHC.
"And looking forward, we will play to win the TNB Cup as well," said Faizal.
THT coach Sarjit Singh was happy that they managed to snatch the League title, even though his charges missed many goal chances.
"We should have won the match easily, buy a rare mistake by my defenders gave KLHC the lead and we had to chase back. Credit to the players as they gave their best to claw back into the match and did not allow KLHC to walk away with a third title," said Sarjit.
KLHC coach Lim Chiow Chuan took out his goalkeeper six minutes from the end, but failed to get back into the game.
"We were penalised for time wasting (by Jang) and Faizal scored the equaliser. It changed the entire game. But looking forward, we still have another title to play for and that's my focus right now," said Chiow Chuan.
RESULTS: Premier Division -- Tenaga 3 UniKL 2, Maybank 2 Thunderbolts 0, KLHC 1 THT 2.
Sports Journalist with the New Straits Times since 1994.
My main beat is field hockey, so this blog will have stories that I have written for the NST, as well as hockey news from around the globe. There will be regular updates. I was also the Secretary General of the National Press Club, Malaysia for three terms (six years).