Azril Miron, the younger brother of national and Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) defender Azlan put TNB ahead in the fifth minute and Hafifi hafiz Hanafi drew level for Maybank from a penalty corner before the end of the third quarter.
Maybank, who went down twice to TNB with scores of 1-2 respectively in the Premier Division, go into the second-leg quarterfinals on Sunday with a one-goal advantage.
Sapura Hockey Club continued its domination over Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) by cruising to a 3-0 win in the first-leg quarterfinals match tonight. Pakistan’s Muhammad Imran scored two penalty corner goals (5th and 7th) and Norsyafiq Sumantri added the third in the 25th minute from a field goal.
In the Premier Division League matches that concluded last week, Sapura won the first leg 2-1 and
“It was a brilliant fight back from the players. They showed a lot of grit and determination to pull through against TNB after having lost twice in the Premier Division,” said Maybank coach Vellapan at a post-match press conference.
“But we are expecting TNB to come back strongly in the second-legand we will carry on the challenge. It was Deepanshu’s first goal this season and we are all motivated by this win,” added Vellapan.
The haze enveloping an area in Bukit Jalil this evening which recorded an Air Pollutant Index(API) reading of 275 by the National Sports Institute as of 5pm which is deemed far above normal had earlier threatened the first-leg quarterfinals proceedings.
TNB, however, were reduced to 10 men in the 44th minute after Azril was sentto sin bin for five minutes by umpire Mohammad Rohizan Ramli while Maybank’sAhmad Kazamirul Nasruddin followed suit two minutes into the third quarter for an infringement outside the TNB semicircle.
Nor SaifulZaini, the TNB head coach, said: “Maybank played a good game with a different strategy. My players are young and could not capitalise on this change. Overall we had many chances too but when you don’t score there’s nothing anyone can do.”
“I want performance from my players in the return-leg. We still have got a chance to qualify for the semifinals. This is a young team and today they failed to hold on to the game. They were out and could not come back,” added Nor Saiful, who was disappointed with the final score as TNB had the psychological edge over Maybank prior to this match.