Aug 23, 2016

KLHC flex muscle in Sapura drubbing

Kuala LUMPUR (21 August, 2016): Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) turned in another convincing performance as they beat Sapura 5-2 in their TNB Malaysian Premier Hockey League match at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium in Jalan Pantai on Sunday.

In other Premier League matches played, Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) beat Maybank 5-1 while Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) defeated Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) 1-0 courtesy of a Mohd Ashran Hamsani field goal late in the fourth quarter.

The match of the day started at a fast pace with both teams looking confident following their victories over THT and UniKL respectively in the opening round of matches on Friday.

It didn't take long for the first goal to come, given the open style both teams were playing, as KLHC's Pakistan import Muhd Umar Bhutta finished off a well organised attack in the second minute. KLHC doubled their lead from an Ahmad Kazamirul Nasruddin penalty corner five minutes later.

Sapura pulled one back in the 19th minute when Mohd Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin slammed home the rebound from a penalty corner after a fine initial save from KLHC goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin.

KLHC restored their two goal lead almost immediately when South Korean import Hyunwoo Nam inch perfect pass found striker Mohd Symin Mohd Yusof who turned and put the ball pass Sapura keeper MohdHairi Abdul Rahman to make it 3-1.

It was 4-1 three minutes later when Mohd Noor Faeez Ibrahim scored through a confidently placed penalty corner.

Sapura got their second goal in the second half when Mohd Zuhairi Hashim's brilliantly placed his penalty corner into the bottom right corner in the 43rd minute to make it 4-2 only for KLHC to make it 5-2 in the 53rd minute when Mohd Rashid Baharom finished a counter-attack with a well-placed goal to the roof of the net from the right.

KLHC's Meor Muhd Azuan Hasan was taken off with a torn gum that did not stop bleeding after knocking into a Sapura player.

Coach Muhd Harun Al-RahidSamri was happy with the three points but feels his KLHC side still have room for improvement.

"On a scale of 1 to 10 were performing at six. The early goals helped us settle and gave us the confidence we needed.

"But there is still work to be done and with our next match a week from now, I will have some much needed time to work with my team," said Harun who was happy with the performance of goalkeeper Roslan.

Sapura coach Yahya bin Omar believes that the early goals were too much for his team to return from.

"Two early goals in 8 minutes put us in a bad spot. We didn't have time to settle into the match and our defenders were nervous as they were playing a stronger team.

"At 2-1, we tried to draw level, but our defenders were not at their best today and there were times where we were caught ball watching.

“Our man marking could have been tighter but, we have to look at our next match against Maybank and not repeat the same mistakes," said Yahya.

At Batu Buruk Hockey Stadium Maybank stunned THT with a field goal in the 14th minute through Hafifi hafiz Hanafi, but it was all THT from then on. Goals from Tengku Ahmad TajuddinTengku Abdul Jalil (28), Jivan Mohan (41), Jang Jonghyun (47, 52) and Muhamad Amirul Mirza Rozi (56) rounded up the win.

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