Malaysia: MHL champions Sapura in shock loss, Tenaga score huge win |
July 24, 2005
The Star Online
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BY AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Fancied Sapura, powered by two South Korean internationals, received a jolt in their defence of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) title after going down 2-3 to former champions Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) at the Tun Razak Stadium here yesterday.
Defending overall champions Tenaga, meanwhile, chalked up the biggest win of the day by humiliating TUDM 18-0 at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium.
With the defeat, Sapura have only three points from two matches. They hammered Dolphin 9-2 on Friday.
For BSN, it was a great victory as they only have the services of three national juniors. It was also BSN's second consecutive win. They edged Telekom Malaysia 4-3 in the first match.
BSN and Tenaga have six points each from two matches but Tenaga lead the standings with a better goal difference.
Sapura, parading seven internationals, took the lead through national skipper S. Kuhan off a penalty corner flick in the 10th minute.
But two minutes later, BSN equalised through Mohd Shahrun Nabil from a penalty corner set-piece.
BSN showed more flair in their attack and surprised the favourites by taking the lead in the 33rd minute. Mohd Fikri Bassar deflected the ball into goal off a pass by Mohd Shukri Mutalib from the top D.
The bankers then punished Sapura for an error in the D in the 53rd minute.
Sapura defender S. Shanker was slow in pushing the ball out of the D and BSN's Razlan Mohd Razi collected the ball and scored off a reverse stick which sailed past national goalkeeper Nasihin Nubli.
Sapura fought back and a minute later Kuhan scored off another penalty corner to reduce the deficit to 2-3.
Sapura pushed their forwards in front in search of the equaliser but BSN's defence held sway.
BSN coach C. Paramalingam said all his players played well and it was a good win for them.
?I am happy with my midfield as they played well to stop the attempts from Sapura forwards. We made full use of our chances and we are moving in the right direction," said Paramalingam.
Last year's league and overall runners-up Ernst and Young chalked up their first win by defeating debutants Telekom Malaysia 2-0 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Ernst and Young, who drew 0-0 with Maybank on Friday, scored through Mohd Rodzhanizam Mat Radzi in the 10th minute and Zulkifli Rejab in the 35th off a penalty corner.
Newcomers Sultan Ahmad Shah (SAS) of Pahang, also got off to a good start in the MHL by defeating Dolphin 5-2 at the Lumut Hockey Stadium.
Mohd Al-Fadhir Kasim (3rd, 65th) and Mohd Sallehin Abdul Ghani (19th, 63rd) each scored a brace.
Ismail Abu delivered the other goal in the 50th minute.
Mohd Faizal Mohd Idoris replied for Dolphin in the 12th and 52nd minutes.
In the last match of the day, Maybank outplayed PISC Nur-Insafi 5-0 to register their first win at the Tun Razak Stadium yesterday.
Hairul Nizam scored two goals in the ninth and 52nd minute. K. Gobinathan (2nd), Mohd Anuar Ali (32nd) and Suhaimi Ibrahim (54th) got the other goals for the Tigers.
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