Aug 10, 2015

Butt dazzles but Sapura continue to win

Maybank and Pakistan national hockey team goalkeeper Imran Butt gave a sterling performance but failed to thwart Sapura from pulling away a 2-1 win in the TNBMHL Premier Division match at the National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Mohamad Syafiq Mohamed Zain gave Maybank an early lead with a ninth minute field goal but Sapura, who had defeated Tenaga Nasional Berhad 2-1 and held Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) to a 3-3 draw last Friday, replied through Dangerous Lee Mathew (38th) and Pakistan’s forward Abdul Haseem Khan (54th) off a penalty corner.

Butt was instrumental in keeping Sapura’s forwards at bay especially Faiz Helmi, Joel Samuel Van Huisen, captain Muhammad Marman Jalil and Pakistanis Khasif Ali, Muhamad Imran and Haseem Khan from making count most of the opportunities that came their way.

Double champions Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) and Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) also emerged victors today. THT trounced TNB 5-0 with goals from Ismail Abu (6th), Firhan Ashari (15th), Faizal Saari (45th (FG), 48th, PC) and Argentinean Jose Leandro Tolini (59th), while KLHC’s Muhammad Nur Faeez’s26th minute penalty corner goal sank Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) to their third defeat.

Sapura coach, Tai Beng Hai, said: “It has always been difficult playing Maybank. It was a good match and we had to fight for the winning goal which came towards the end of the game. I must credit Imran (Maybank goalkeeper) for stopping us. He is a very experienced goalkeeper and if it was not for his performance we could have scored more goals.”

“I must say we are playing consistently well in this early part of the season and we must continue with this momentum against Terengganu Hockey Team in Kuala Terengganu in our next game on 14th August,” he added.

KLHC share seven equal points with Sapura but lead the table standings on superior goal difference while THT are third on six points followed by TNB (6 points). Universiti Kuala Lumpur and Maybank are reeling at the bottom with no points.

Maybank coach, S. Vellapan, said it has been the same story line by his players who failed to sustain the momentum going into the final quarter of the match.

“We took the lead but failed to make use of the chances that we had. This is our third defeat and we must bounce back in our remaining first round matches. We have conceded nine goals and scored six so it’s not that we don’t have the strike force but winning is what matters at the end of the day,” added Vellapan.

Maybank’snext match is against UniKL on Friday while KLHC go up against TNBat the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Results – Premier Division:Sapura 2 Maybank1; KLHC 1 UniKL 0; Terengganu Hockey Team 5TenagaNasionalBerhad0.

Division 1A:BJSS 2 MBI 1; TNB Thunderbolt 0 MSNT/PHT 0(match abandoned due to rain); 

Division 1B:UniKL Young Guns 1 SSTMI 1; PKS-KPM 5 ATM Airod 4; UITM 2 Politeknik Malaysia 1.
Women’s Group A:Politeknik Malaysia 2 MSNT/PHT 1; UITM Lions 3 Manjung HA 0.

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