Kuala Lumpur (6 January, 2017): Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) came back from two goals down to sent Tenaga Nasional Berhad crashing out of the Tan Sri P. Alagendra Cup Knockout Tournament in a 3-2 thrilling victory in the first round encounter at the Tun Razak Stadium today.
Mohammad Ramadan Rosli fired TNB, the 2016 runners-up; ahead in the eighth minute from a field goal and Azril Misron increased the advantage in the 35th minute before KLHC, who lost in the quarterfinals stage of the tournament last season, reduced the deficit via Muhammad Haziq Samsul in the 42nd minute.
Germany’s Aaron Craig Kleinschmidt stepped up with the equalizer (50th minute) and Anton Paul Fritz nailed the winner off a penalty corner six minutes to the final hooter to take KLHC into tomorrow’s quarterfinals against Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI).
The draw for the quarterfinals sees Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya (MBPJ) goes up against Bukit Jalil Sports School; Politeknik Malaysia-KPT plays Terengganu Hockey Team and Universiti Kuala Lumpur meets Maybank.
Terengganu Hockey Team advanced into the quarterfinals following a 7-3 win over 2016 Division One champions TNB Thunderbolts.
Korean Jang Jong Hyun nailed a hat-trick via penalty corners (18th, 25th and 35th minutes), Faizal Saari scored a brace (48th and 59th) whilst Ismail Abu (2nd) and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abdul Jalil (6th) scored one apiece as Sarjit Singh’s side coasted into Saturday’s quarterfinals
Thunderbolts replied through Muhammad Hazim with an 11th minute field goal before Muhammad Idris Samad (21st) and defender Muhammad Arif Syafie (47th) produced an entertaining performance to rattle THT defenders with penalty corner goals.
Arul Selvaraj’s UniKL, who was shown the exit in the quarterfinals stage by TNB last season, edged Universiti Teknologi MARA-KPT 2-0, Maybank crushed Universiti Putra Malaysia-KPT 8-1 and BJSS showed the exit door to Royal Malaysian Police with a 4-2 win at the KPM ground in Jalan Pantai. Bandar Penawar-based SSTMI defeated Johor 3-0 and MBPJ thumped RMAF Rajawali 5-1 in the first round.
UiTM, who gained promotion to Premier League, were dealt a severe blow before the start of the match when two of their foreign signings - Vakkaliga Swami Vinaya and Alemada Cheenaya Bopaiah from India failed to obtain their No Objection Certificate in time for the match.
The match got off with UniKL in commanding position but simply could not find the passage through for the goals until only after the interval. Pakistani Muhammad Aleem scored the first goal in the 32nd minute from a penalty corner and Ignacio Santiago Salas increased the advantage in 50th minute from a field goal.
“We were a bit scrappy today and I admit that. But in a knockout competition it’s the final results that counts,” said UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj. “I decided to rotate the players as we have 24 hours to play the quarterfinals. Overall I am pleased with the results but we need to cut off some fancy play and stop making unforced errors,” he added.
Penang-based Nurinsafi Hockey clawed back from a 3-1 deficit to hold Politeknik Malaysia-KPT to a 4-4 draw in regulation time. However, the side led by six Pakistan nationals, fumbled in the penalty shootout to give Politeknik Malaysia 3-1 victory and a slot in tomorrow’s quarterfinals.
Korean Hwang Mah Gi opened accounts for Politeknik with an 18th minute penalty stroke while Oh Seyong (26th) and Mohamad Zabad Rosli (37th) increased the lead to 3-0 before Mohammad Bilal Qadir pulled one back in the 40th minute from a field goal.
However, a resilient Nurinsafi went out in full force in the last four minutes of play and were rewarded with two field goals from Nur Rahul Hrsikesa (56th and 58th minutes) whilst Bilal Qadir scored his second and Nurinsafi’s fourth goal in the match to force a 4-4 draw and go into penalty shootout.