KUALA LUMPUR (15th September, 2016): Sapura Hockey Club (Sapura) cannot afford any slip ups when they face Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) as they bid to claim the TNB Malaysian Premier Hockey League crown at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium in Jalan Pantai on Friday.
One point separates leaders Sapura and second placed Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) with two matches remaining for both sides.
But while KLHC have relatively easy matches against Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) on Friday and Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) on Sunday, Sapura’s crunch match against THT could well seal their fate, and Coach Yahya Atan wants his boys to give their best.
“We need three points against THT to ensure we are in control. We also can’t afford to drop points against Maybank on Sunday, especially if KLHC win their matches.
“My players need to be focused and confident for this match, or else it could all go wrong,” said Yahya.
THT have been blowing hot and cold so far this season and which THT will turn up remains to be seen. They will be riding high after notching a 2-1 win over KLHC last Saturday and Yahya is wary of their drag flickers.
“We can’t give away penalty corners as their South Korean flicker Jang Jonghyun is very good. We will need to keep a close eye on their forward line as well, but besides that we will maintain our game,” said Yahya.
KLHC coach Muhammad Harun Al-Rahid Samri is also approaching his next two matches cautiously, as they have dropped points against both TNB and UniKL.
“Both these teams took points off us and we have to make sure they don’t hurt us again this time. We need maximum points so we know we did our best and the rest we will leave to fate.
“We have some injury worries as well, Kevin (Frederick Lim), Rashid (Baharom), Faeez (Ibrahim) and Hyunwoo Nam are all carrying injuries. But it is not severe and I hope they will recover in time to play tomorrow (Friday),” said Muhd Harun.
Meanwhile, Muhd Harun believes the match could go either way, as he insisted that playing in Batu Buruk was never easy.
“THT have got great fans and their support makes the difference. We played there twice this season and we salute and respect their fans,” added Muhd Harun.
FIXTURES – Premier League, Friday: Maybank v Universiti Kuala Lumpur (6pm, Bukit Serindit Stadium); Tenaga Nasional Berhad v Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (6pm, Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium); Terengganu Hockey Team v Sapura Hockey Club (6pm, Batu Buruk Hockey Stadium);
Sunday: Terengganu Hockey Team v Tenaga Nasional Berhad (6pm, Batu Buruk Hockey Stadium); Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club v Universiti Kuala Lumpur (6pm, Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium); Sapura Hockey Club v Maybank (6pm, Tun Razak Hockey Stadium).