Saturday September 22, 2012
KLHC regain top spot as Tenaga Nasional falter
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Favourites Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) got back to winning ways as they thrashed Maybank 6-1 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
KLHC, who lost 4-3 to Tenaga Nasional last week, went on the offensive from the start and never looked like a side that would settle for anything but a big win.
And it was double joy for them as they regained the lead in the Premier Division standings.
Tenaga Nasional, who led the standings after their upset win over KLHC last week, could only manage a 4-4 draw against Nur Insafi in Ipoh.
With three matches remaining, KLHC lead with 16 points while Tenaga are a point behind.
In Bukit Jalil, KLHC dominated proceedings and easily took a 3-0 lead with goals from Mohd Shahrun Nabil (eighth minute), Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor (15th) and skipper Azlan Misron (22nd).
Maybank reduced the gap through Hairul Nizam Abdul Rani in the 48th minute but KLHC continued their relentless pace and veteran Chua Boon Huat made it four off a penalty corner.
Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim added another in the 63rd minute before Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin completed the rout four minutes later.
KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj is glad they are back on track for the title.
ďItís simple maths.
ďWe must win our remaining matches to retain the title,Ē said Dharmaraj. Meanwhile Tenaga, who won the first-leg 5-2 in KL, trailed 4-1 before they stormed back to force a tie.
Amir Farid Ahmad Fuzi gave Tenaga the lead in the seventh minute.
But Nur Insafi, powered by six Pakistanis ,scored four goals in the space of 11 minutes through Wassem Ahmed (12th), Mohd Hairy Ramli (15th), Nur Hrsikesa Thaitchana (21st) and Mohd Harris Fadila (23rd).
However, Tenaga got their act together and replied through Mohd Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin in the 28th minute and two more after the breather from Mohd Amin Rahim (42nd) and Firhan Ashaari (50th).
But Nur Insafi were unhappy with the umpiring and almost staged a walkout in the 58th minute.
They sent in a protest letter after the match and tournament director V. Rajamanickam said the MHL Technical Committee will meet tomorrow to decide on it.
In another match, Sapura also staged a fightback in their 2-2 stalemate with Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL).
UniKL started well, taking the lead through Mohd Haziq Samsul in the fourth minute before Mohd Noor Faeez Ibrahim made it 2-0 in the 15th off a penalty corner.
But Sapura fought back after the breather and got their point thanks to goals from Azreen Rizal Nasir (45th minute) and Muhammad Imran (67th).