Saturday September 29, 2012
KLHC champs again; 7th time
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: KL Hockey Club (KLHC) captured their seventh consecutive Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) crown when they beat Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) 3-1 in their penultimate match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
The victory gave KLHC an unassailable 22 points as closest rivals Tenaga Nasional could only muster a 2-2 draw against Sapura.
Tenaga have 17 points, which renders tomorrow’s final Premier Division match against KLHC an anti-climax.
KLHC went on the offensive from the start but had to wait until the 25th minute to take the lead through Ahmad Kazamirul Nasruddin off their fifth penalty corner.
KLHC kept up the pressure and increased the lead through Mohd Syamim Mohd Yusof off a deflection in the 38th minute.
UniKL fought back and narrowed the deficit off a field goal by Mohd Rashid Baharom in 54th.
Former international Ismail Abu sealed the match for KLHC with another field goal in the last minute.
KLHC team manager George Koshy was ecstatic over the win.
“It’s really wonderful to win the title for the seventh time on the trot,” he said.
“My players played a cautious game against UniKL and made some clumsy mistakes. Still, we won and that’s all that matters.
“We will now focus on lifting the overall title as well. It’s not going to be easy as we don’t know who we will be meeting in the knockout stage.”
Tenaga took the lead against Sapura through Mohd Firhan Ashaari in the 10th minute but S. Kuhan equalised in the 21st.
Tenaga regained the lead off a penalty corner through Faizal Saari in the 52nd minute – his 17th goal in nine matches.
But Muhammad Imran converted a penalty stroke to level the score for Sapura.
At the adjacent pitch, Maybank sealed a place in the semi-finals with a gritty 3-2 win over Nur Insafi-Perak.
The Tigers have 12 points from nine matches with a match to play against UniKL.
Meanwhile, Universiti Tenaga Nasional (Uniten) took the MHC technical committee to task for not drawing up the fixtures properly.
Uniten coach Ikmal Al Jabbar said their match against Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) was scheduled for 5pm yesterday but MHC kept changing the time.
“They told us in the morning that the match would be played at 6pm. They then changed it to 8pm and, finally at noon, they informed us that the match would be at 4pm.
“This is really unprofessional. It effected our game and we lost 1-0 to UiTM,” said Ikmal.