Sep 1, 2015

Sapura derail‘Comeback Kings’ KLHC bid for title

Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) clawed back from two goals down to hold Sapura to a 4-4 draw in a high intensity match of the TNBMHL 2015 Premier Division at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil Friday .

The draw – KLHC’s second in the league, derailed the 2010-2013 champions impeccable run in the 2015 season and K.Dharmaraj’s charges now face the toughest hurdle of ending double champions Terengganu Hockey Team’s (THT) dream run on Friday which will decide the eventual champions at the Batu Buruk Hockey Stadium in Kuala Terengganu.

Sarjit Singh’s THT leapfrogged KLHC to top the table standings with 24 points following a narrow 3-2 victory over Maybank on home turf tonight while KLHC amassed 23 points.

National forward Faizal Saari kept THT on top by the 38th minute from a penalty corner and added the second in the 55th (FG)before closing the day with a hat-trick (60th), making him the Premier Division’s leading scorer to date with 13 goals.Maybank replied through Muhammad Irfan(58th) and Hafifihafiz Hanafi (60th).

The east coast giants, however, hold the edge over KLHC going into the final lap of the Premier Division. Sapura, who held KLHC also to a 3-3 draw in the first leg, are poised to finish third in the six-team league ahead of Tenaga Nasional Berhad.

“The players took it easy and we were punished with two goals early in the game but we recovered to hold on to this draw despite having so many opportunities,” said Dharmaraj. “A draw is as good as a defeat for me and we must now go to Terengganu looking for a win.”

“It would have been the entire better if we had sealed today’s match with a win. I am not looking at the 6-2 win over THT in the Charity Shield as any consolation before our match on Friday but THT were not what they have made out to be. They are capable of beating us by the same score and this is going to be a very tough match,” added Dharmaraj.

Dangerous Lee Mathew, a former national junior trainee, came on field in the sixth minute and took just two minutes to stun KLHC and national No 2 goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin with a field goal while Faridzul Afiq made it 2-0 by the 12th minute in similar fashion.

KLHC, dubbed the ‘Comeback Kings’, pulled one back through Mohd Syamim Mohd Yusof a minute later before Harvinder Singh leveled the score at 2-2 by the 15th minute - slotting the ball past goalkeeper Mohammed Hairi Abdul Rahman in a goal-mouth melee.

Lee, however, came back to haunt KLHC two minutes into the end of the second quarter with another field goal to give Sapura the lead for the third time before Norsyafiq Sumantri produced another of his scintillating performance to snuff the challenge out of KLHC with a 38th field goal, giving his side an unassailable 4-2 lead over one of the best teams in the league.

The match was, however, stopped in the 41st minute due to rain and upon resumption 30 minutes later it was KLHC who went on the offensive and were rewarded in the 53rd minute through NabilFiqri’s field goal and Pakistan’s Ali Shan continued the fight back to level 4-4 with a 57th penalty corner.

What was to be the biggest upset in the Premier Division by Sapura eventually turned anti-climax as KLHC went on to maintain their unbeaten run.

Meanwhile, TNB defeated Arul Selvaraj’s Universiti Kuala Lumpur 4-3 tonight. UniKL scorers are Muhammad Azwar Abdul Rahman(18th), S. Selvaraju (43nd) and Muhammad Najmi Farizal (52nd) while TNB replied through Muhammad Amirol Aideed (38th), Muhammad Shahril Saabah (41st), Muhammad Aminudin Mohd Zain (53rd) and Nik Muhammad Aiman (60th).

UniKL, however, will meet Maybank in the abandoned first-leg match on Wednesday before concluding their Premier Division fixtures against Sapura on Friday at the National Hockey Stadium.

Aug 29, 2015


Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) scored a resounding 4-1 win over Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) in the second-leg of the TNBMHL 2015 Premier Division match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

Pakistan’s Ali Shan gave KLHC the lead with a fourth minute field goal, beating goalkeeper Kairulnizam Ibrahim with a powerful close-range reverse stick shot, only for Ireland’s Richard Sykes to equalise 21 minutes later through a penalty corner.

Coach K. Dharmaraj’s side, better known for their come-from-behind brand of hockey to claim victory in most matches, did it once again.

Muhammad Noor Faeez than made it 2-1 off a penalty corner(48th) and skipper Muhammad Razie Abdul Rahim scored twice in the last 10 minutes of play - via a penalty stroke (51st) and a penalty corner just under a minute later to seal an emphatic victory for KLHC.

The four-time champions secured top spot with 22 points – one clear of THT following this win. For the record, KLHC defeated basement side UniKL 1-0 in the first-leg match played on August 9 at the same venue.

In Kuala Terengganu, Faizal Saari scored two goals to light up the night for double champions Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) against TenagaNasionalBerhad at the Batu Buruk Hockey Stadium.

Backed by home fans, the Malaysian international lifted THT with a seventh minute strike in the run of play and successfully converted a penalty stroke in the 39th minute to give THT a 2-0 lead before Muhamad Ramadan Rosli pulled one back for TNB in the 49th minute from a field goal.

The road to the Premier Division title now seems once again an open battle between KLHC and THT and is likely to be decided on September 4 in Kuala Terengganu when the two top guns go into showdown after four other contenders – Sapura, TNB, Mayba
nk and UniKL failed to live up to the expectations.

“The pressure was far more on us to win today’s match than it was on UniKL. They had nothing to lose except derail our plans to stay on top. If we had fumbled today’s match the pressure would have been far higher on us against Sapura on Sunday (tomorrow),” said Dharmaraj.

“We had a great start to take the lead and I must admit that to score three goals in the last quarter of the match certainly took the pressure off us instantly. The players kept mounting the attacks and this is what we had emphasized all along. It’s not over until the final whistle.”

UniKL head coach Arul Selvaraj, said: “Basically it boils down to the level of confidence. There was so much lacking in this aspect today and it is something we have been talking to the players.
“Instead of gaining the upper hand by expanding the lead after the 1-1 draw at the interval, they were worried of holding on to the draw and this allows KLHC to hit three goals in the late stage.”

Aug 28, 2015

Sapura down Maybank once again

Sapura Hockey Club squeezed out a 3-2 win over Maybank in the second-leg of the TNBMHL Premier Division match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

Norsyafiq Sumantri opened accounts for Sapura just two minutes into the game with a field goal – his third in the league before Maybank equalised through Muhammad Hafiz Zainol in the 41st minute.

Tai Beng Hai’s Sapura, who finished fifth in the six-team Premier Division last season, than shot ahead 2-1 from Muhammad Zulhairi Hashim’s penalty corner seconds after the Maybank equaliser.

Maybank and Pakistan’s national team goalkeeper Imran Butt was once again beaten in the 50th minute as Azreen Rizal Nasirs neaked through a field goal to extend Sapura’s lead in the 50th minute.

Maybank, however, kept the heat on Sapura and were rewarded two minutes later with a penalty corner goal from Ahmad Kazamirul Nasruddin to close the gap at 3-2 but one that came too late.

It was Sapura’s second win over Maybank in the league after posting a 2-1 victory in the first leg.

Sapura’s head coach, Tai Beng Hai, said: “Basically we are happy to maintain our third position in the league ahead of TNB with this win and will continue this momentum.

“It is always tough playing Maybank as they are a good side. They came back to close the gap at 3-2 in the late stage and that has always been their strength. We are happy to win three points today,” he added.

Beng Hai’s Sapura, who finished fifth in the six-team Premier Division last season, maintained third spot in the table standings with 13 points following this win. However, hot on their heels isTenaga Nasional Berhad on nine points after seven matches.

TNB face double champions Terengganu Hockey Team at the Batu Buruk Stadium in Kuala Terengganu tomorrow while at the Bukit Jalil National Hockey Stadium, table leaders Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club go into action against basement side Universiti Kuala Lumpur.

Aug 26, 2015


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Aug 24, 2015

Tough day for THT, KLHC and Maybank

Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) turned on the heat in the third quarter to subdue Sapura HC 5-2 in the return leg of the TNBMHL 2015 Premier Division match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil today.

In the first leg, THT won by a solitary goal scored by Azlan Misron at the Batu Buruk Stadium in Kuala Terengganu.

In other matches, four-time champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) pounced back to defeat Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) 2-1 with penalty corner drag-flick specialist Razie Rahim scoring both goals (13th and 36th) after Mohd Amin Rahim had given TNB an 11th minute lead with a field goal.

Maybank also came back from a 2-1 deficit to upstage Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) 3-2 in this second round match. Jethro Ray Eustice put UniKL 1-0 up with a 17th minute goal but Maybank pulled back through Pakistan’s Shafqat Rasool (22nd, PC) before UniKL’s Nazmi Farizal Jazlan put his side 2-1 ahead with a penalty corner goal in the 30th minute.

But it was the sheer perseverance of Maybank that saw them pulling off this victory with two late penalty corner goals - Ahmad Kazamirul Nasruddin made it count in the 56th minute and Muhammad Waqas fired home a minute later.

Both teams, however, will only play their revised first leg match on September 2. The match was earlier scheduled on Aug 14 but was washed away by heavy rain after seven minute of play.

Muhammad Fitri Saari opened scoring for THT after just five minutes of play from a penalty corner goal, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin added the second in the 23rd minute from a field goal and Ismail Abu made it 3-0 at the stroke of first half from a penalty corner to give THT a comfortable lead at the interval.

Sapura, however, clawed back with two goals from their Pakistan connection to stay in touch with the east coast giants. Khasif Ali scored from a 41st minute penalty stroke and Muhammad Imran closed the gap at 3-2 via a penalty corner two minutes later.

However, a defensive error by Sapura in the 44th minute after making a gigantic push to narrow the gap allowed THT to go ahead 4-2, thanks to Faizal Saari’s quick work in front of the goalmouth while team captain Shahrun Nabil Abdullah knocked home the fifth goal with just a minute of play left.

KLHC go top with 19 points with double champions THT one point behind on 18 points while Sapura’s chances of making a top-two finish evaporated with this latest defeat – their third in seven matches.

Following this victory, THT coach, Sarjit Singh, said: “This was the most crucial match and we got three points. Our next three matches will be played at the Batu Buruk Stadium in Kuala Terengganu and we are excited. All we need is to win nine more points and stand a very good chance of a great shot at the title once again.”

He added that Sapura are just like any other teams in the league that is hard to beat.

“They played well in the second and third quarters with several penalty corner opportunities and were unfortunate not to convert them. We have put this game behind us and are focused on our last three remaining matches,” he added.

THT play TNB (Aug 28), Maybank (Aug 30) and four-time champions KLHC (Sept 3) in the return leg matches in Kuala Terengganu.

Meanwhile, Sapura head coach, Tai Beng Hai, added that generally they had a good game but were unlucky not to convert the chances that came their way.

“We picked up slowly and gave THT a good fight. They are a good side and I guess we will just continue to play to our level best and hope to finish third or fourth in the league,” he added.

Maybank fail to break KLHC domination once again

Maybank once again failed to break Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club’s (KLHC) domination as the four-time champions registered a 2-1 win in the second round of the TNBMHL Premier Division match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil today.

In the first round of the league, KLHC defeated Maybank 3-1.

Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) continued to close the gap with KLHC at the top of the table standings with a 3-0 win over Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) at the adjacent pitch. National forward Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin struck home a sixth minute field goal while siblings Fitri Saari (42nd) and Faizal (45th) added to UniKL’s misery with two field goals.

THT had in the first round clawed back from a 2-1 deficit to pull away victory by 4-2 against UniKL at the Batu Buruk Hockey Stadium in Kuala Terengganu.

It was Maybank who dictated terms against KLHC by taking a 36th minute lead through Muhammad Toseef who pounced on an Ahmad Kazamirul Nasruddin long shot into the penalty box, leaving goalkeeper Shahrul Azaddin with no chance at all.

KLHC, however, equalised just under a minute later from a field goal after Muhammad Shamim Yusof deflected the ball past Pakistan’s national team goalkeeper Muhammad Irfan Butt.

The 2010-2013 champions shot 2-1 ahead in the 42nd minute from a penalty corner. Drag-flick specialist Muhammad Razie Rahim gave his best shot but this was thwarted by Irfan Butt only for Ali Hassan to pick it from a rebound to give KLHC their fifth win in six matches so far.

KLHC head coach, K. Dharmaraj, said: “We expect the game to be close and we know Maybank have the ability of playing good hockey and capable of creating an upset. They have nothing to lose and are chasing for their first win and three points.”

Maybank coach, S. Vellapan, was least disappointed by yet another defeat in the league and applauded his players for putting up a great effort against KLHC.

“My players played well today. We had good ball possession and had our chances at the goal but we made some unforced errors and will need to check on this in our next match against UniKL on Sunday,” said Vellapan, adding that the rained-off first round match against UniKL has been rescheduled to be played on September 2.

Meanwhile, TNB showed great determination to edge Sapura 2-1 at the National Hockey Stadium, a reverse of result that saw Sapura winning the first round match by the same margin.

Muhammad Aminuddin Mohd Zaid kept TNB infront with a fourth minute penalty corner goal but Sapura level the score 1-1 through Pakistan’s Muhammad Azfar Yaqoob off a field goal in the 36th minute.

TNB, an all-local outfit, found the winning goal through Muhammad Amin Rahim from a 45th minute penalty corner to give his side their third win in six matches.

Aug 19, 2015

THT survive early scare; Sapura back on winning ways

Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin scored two goals as Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) rallied back to beat Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) 4-2 in the TNBMHL 2015 Premier Division match at the Batu Buruk Hockey Stadium in Kuala Terengganu today.

The double champions were down 1-0- by an 11th minute Sufi Ismat field goal but national forward Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin equalized for THT in the 22nd minute from a penalty corner.

UniKL, who have been rather unlucky in their last three matches before closing their proceedings on the losing end, went ahead 2-1 by the 30th minute through Rafizul Ezry field goal but Fitri Saari drew level 2-2 for THT two minutes later off a field goal.

Another goal by Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (37th) off a penalty corner and Ismail Abu’s attempt in the closing stages sealed THT’s unblemished home ground record.

Elsewhere, Sapura rolled back on track and continued their winning ways once again following a 2-1 victory over TenagaNasionalBerhad (TNB) while Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) defeated Maybank3-1for their third win in four matches.

Drag-flick specialist Razie Abdul Rahim kept his side on top with a 13th minute penalty corner goal and Nabil Fiqri extended it 2-0 from a penalty corner set piece three minutes later. Maybank pulled one back through Muhammad Irfan in the 33rd minute, also from a penalty corner.

Four-time champions KLHC, however, had the final say with Rashid Baharom scoring the third in the 56th minute off a field goal - his sixth goal in the tournament.

THT coach, Sarjit Singh, said:“The opposition is getting stronger and better. Each time they come here and play against us they give 200 percent. It is getting tougher for us. It is not easy coming back when you are down and I am very excited with today’s win.”

He added that the margins of victory or defeats in most games arevery narrow and thus Premier Division matches are getting harder by the day.
“It is certainly not going to be any easier for THT from now on. We are only looking at three points and as I said before every team havegood foreign signings. THT is only looking at three points in our coming matches and we will see where we go from there,” added Sarjit.

Sapura took the field without Pakistan’s Khasif Ali and Muhammad Imran who are nursing injuries and were back paddling by the third minute.

The all-local outfit TNB side went ahead with a Muhammad Aminuddin Mohd Zaid penalty corner before Sapura’s Mohamed Zulhairi Hashim made it 1-1 from a penalty corner in the 48thminute and Faridzul Afiq scored the winner five minutes before the end from a field goal.

“Today the boys played well. We came back from a goal down to win. It is important that we continue our winning form and grab three points to close the gap with the top teams,” said Sapura coach Tai Beng Hai, adding that the players had recovered quickly from the long journey back home from Kuala Terengganu after the 1-0- defeat against THT on Friday.

KLHC continue to lead the table standings with 13 points – one clear of THT while Sapura, the only team so far to hold KLHC to a 3-3 draw, is three points behind the leader.

TNB are lying in fourth position with six points while UniKL and Maybank are at the base with no wins as to date.

RESULTS – Premier Division: Terengganu Hockey Team 4Universiti Kuala Lumpur2; Sapura 2 TenagaNasionalBerhad1; Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club 3Maybank1.
Division 1A: MBI 3 MSP-YP-SSP 1; MASUM-USM 3 MSNT/PHT 1; Division 1B: UniKL Young Guns 2 UITM 2; NurInsafi3 SSTMI 2; Politeknik Malaysia 3 PKS-KPM 0; ATM Airod 1 UniKL Young Guns 0.
Women’s Group A: ATM Pernama5 Politeknik Malaysia 1; The Cops 3 MSNT/PHT 0; Group B: PKS-KPM 4 UITM Lions 0; SSTMI Thunderbolt 5Manjung HA 1.