UniKL close gap with leaders

By February 5, 2017 February 6th, 2017 Newsroom

Kuala Lumpur (5 February, 2017): Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) closed the gap with Terengganu Hockey Team and Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club following a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Universiti Teknologi MARA-KPT (UiTM) in the TNBMHL 2017 Premier League match at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium today.

The win has kept UniKL in third spot in the table standings with 18 points – four ahead of fourth-placed Tenaga Nasional Berhad while THT lead the stable standings with 22 points and KLHC second on 20 points.

Double champions THT pulverised Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) 10-1 at the Batu Buruk Hockey Stadium in Kuala Terengganu. In the first-leg match, THT crushed SSTMI 7-0.

Former national player Tengku Ahmad Tajudin Tengku Abdul Jalil scored four goals and Korean Jang Jonghyun notched a hat-trick whilst Nicholas Enrique Della Torre, Ismail Abu and B. Namasivayam scored a piece. SSTMI replied through Muhammad Shahrin Izuddin four minutes before the end.

UniKL went into the lead knowing a win could open up a four-point gap between them and fourth-placed TNB who were held to a 2-2 draw by Maybank in an earlier match.

UniKL were perhaps overconfident as they had won the first round match against UiTM with a 6-2 scoreline.

“We had a relatively poor game today and I am the first to admit that,” said UniKL coach A. Arul Selvaraj. “We have given our opponents too much space and almost paid the price. The players must be more focused and not let the first round matches result to be a yardstick to measure the ability of an opponent.”

UniKL piled early pressure and were awarded three penalty corners in the first quarter but failed to make them count. Muhammad Aleem Bilal finally got it right from the fourth penalty corner to give UniKL a 1-0 lead.

It took UiTM only a minute into the third quarter to draw level as Mohd Faid Farhad converted their second penalty corner in the 31st minute.

Mohd Hafiz Zainol put UniKL 2-1 ahead in the 43rd minute, pouncing first in a goalmouth melee to slot home.

Maybank came back from two goals down to hold TNB to a 2-2 draw at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium.

Muhammad Amirol Aideed kept TNB ahead with a field goal in the 12th minutes and Norsyafiq Sumantri doubled the lead in the 43rd minute before Mohd Zulhairi Hashim pulled one back via a penalty corner on the stroke of the end of the third quarter and Korean Jang Soon Chan equalized five minutes later.

Four-time TNBMHL Charity Shield champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) survived an early setback against TNB Thunderbolts before pulling off a 4-3 victory at the SSTMI ground.

Thunderbolts, led by youngsters from the TNB development programme, led 2-0 with field goals from Muhammad Azrai Aizad (22nd minute) and Muhammad Noor Firdaus Rosli (25th) before KLHC level score through Muhammad Haziq Samsul (29th) and Anton Paul Fritz Ebeling (34th).

The youngsters, who defeated Maybank 7-3, last week, shot ahead 3-2 in the 41st minutes via a Muhammad Amirul Hamizan Asahar penalty corner. However, two goals within a space of six minutes from Anton Paul (44th) and Muhammad Haziq (50th) saw KLHC defy a strong challenge from Thunderbolts to win 4-3 in this nerve-wrecking match.

Results: Universiti Kuala Lumpur 2 UiTM-KPT 1; Tenaga Nasional Berhad 2 Maybank 2; TNB Thunderbolts 3 Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club 4; Terengganu Hockey Team 10 Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School 1.

Wednesday (8 February, 2017): Tenaga Nasional Berhad v Terengganu Hockey Team (KLHA Stadium, 6.0pm); TNB Thunderbolts v Universiti Kuala Lumpur (SSTMI Hockey Stadium, 5.0pm); Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School v Maybank (SSTMI Hockey Stadium, 7.0pm); UiTM-KPT v Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (Stadium Tun Razak, 6.0pm).