Kuala Lumpur (17 February, 2017): Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) and Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) will decide for the 2017 TNBMHL Premier League title at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium on Sunday.
Three-time champions THT defeated Maybank 5-2 at the Batu Buruk Hockey Stadium in Kuala Terengganu today whilst KLHC edged Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) 3-1 at the KLHA Stadium. Both teams share 33-equal points after 12 matches and go head to head into Sunday last fixture of the Premier League.
Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin set the platform in THT’s win with a 10th minute penalty corner goal before Korean Jang Jonghyun made it 3-0 in the 12th and 17th minutes via penalty corners and Muhammad Firhan Ashaari added the fourth a minute into the third quarter from open play.
Maybank, who are placed in fifth position in the eight-team league, reduced the deficit with goals from Jang Soon Chan (32nd) and Jeremy Edwards (47th) but THT, who are eyeing a fourth consecutive Premier League title since 2014, made it 5-2 through Ameer Aiman Mohammad Saberi with four minutes remaining on the clock.
“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 Muhammad Harun Alrashid Samri.
As for UniKL, they need to beat Tenaga Nasional Berhad on Sunday to take third spot in the league. TNB moved up to third spot on 25 points – two ahead of UniKL following a 10-0 thrashing of Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School at the KLHA Stadium.
“It boils down to our last match against TNB irrespective of the result today,” said UniKL coach A. Arul Selvaraj. “The boys tried hard but lapses in concentration caused us dear and we were punished. We need to cut down on silly mistakes and not give away possession too easily.”
Both teams were awarded penalty corners in the first half but could not make good use of it. Pakistani Muhammad Umar Bhutta put KLHC ahead in the 14th minute when he was the first to the ball after a run from the right
by Razie Rahim, giving goalkeeper Khairul Nizam Ibrahim no chance with a hefty shot.
KLHA almost doubled their advantage in the 18th minute but the attempt of the third penalty corner was saved on the line by Zul Pidaus Mizun.
UniKL were on level terms against the run of play in the 28th minute as Faridzul Afiq Mohd sneaked behind the defence to deflect the ball past goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin.
But seconds later KLHC took the lead when Najmi Farizal Jazlan lost the ball and a quick counter saw attack saw Casey Hammod Dawson having a simple task of scoring after Khairul’s rebound fell in front of him. Anton Poul Fritz Ebeling weaved past a static defence to put the ball past substitute keeper Thomas Santiago to give KLHC a 3-1 lead in the 50th minute.
As for TNB, the big-margin win celebration will be put on hold until Sunday’s last and crucial league match against UniKL which will determine which of the two teams will finish third.
Norsyafiq Sumantri scored a hat-trick for TNB (13th, 36th and 52nd minutes) PC) and Muhammad Shahril Saabah netted a double (6th, PC and 51st PC) whilst Mohamad Zulhamizan Awang Abas (11th, FG), Muhammad Firdaus Omar (27th, FG), Syed Mohamad Shafiq Syed Cholan (32nd, PC), Nik Muhammad Aiman Nik Rozemi (38th, PC) and Muhamad Aminudin Mohd Zain scored a piece.
For SSTMI, it was the second time in the league that the Bandar Penawar-based sports school suffered a big defeat. They were also beaten 10-0 by THT three weeks ago.
Results – Premier League: Terengganu Hockey Team 5 Maybank 2; TNB Thunderbolts 3 UiTM-KPT 0; Universiti Kuala Lumpur 1 Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club 3; Tenaga Nasional Berhad 10 Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School 0.
Sunday (19 February, 2017): Tenaga Nasional Berhad v Universiti Kuala Lumpur (6pm); Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club v Terengganu Hockey Team (8pm, both matches at KLHA Stadium); Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School v TNB Thunderbolts (5pm, SSTMI Stadium); Maybank v UiTM-KPT (6pm, Bukit Serindit Hockey Stadium, Malacca).