KUALA LUMPUR: Defending overall champions Tenaga Nasional dented Bank Simpanan Nasional's (BSN) chances of winning the league title when they defeated them 5-2 in a Malaysia Hockey League match at the KL Hockey Stadium yesterday.
Tenaga and Ernst and Young are now the main challengers to Sapura for the league title. Both teams have 19 points while Sapura are on 21 points after all the three teams have played eight matches.
The second defeat for BSN left them three points adrift of Sapura who only need to win their remaining two matches to take the title.
BSN started off yesterday's match aggressively but it was Tenaga who were 2-0 up by the 14th minute. Nor Saiful Zaini sounded the board in the ninth minute off their second penalty corner while Kelvinder Singh deflected in a cross in the 14th minute to give the team a solid start.
And when the Tenaga forwards started to muff their attempts BSN charged back to reduced the deficit in the 32th minute BSN through a penalty corner set piece move with Mohamed Shahrun Nabil putting the final touch to the move.
BOON HUAT: Scored twice in Ernst and Young's 5-0 win over RMR.
Tenaga started the second half stronger and this was translated into three more goals. Kelvinder (51st) and Tajol Rosli (42nd and 57th) made it 5-1.
Mohamed Faisal Daud scored the second goal for BSN in the 60th minute but by then Tenaga had the game wrapped up.
At the Tun Razak Stadium, Ernst and Young stayed within two points of leaders Sapura when they beat Royal Malay Regiment (RMR) 5-0 win.
National player Chua Boon Huat started the rout with a brace in the 21st and 34th minute through two field attempts and this was followed by a field goal from youngster Ahmad Annuar Sham in the 49th minute.
Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin and Mohamed Ammerullah then added the other two goals in the 57th and 62nd minutes respectively to give the Ernst and Young a comfortable win.
The Ernst and Young team will only stand a chance of gunning for the title if Sapura drop points in their remaining two matches against Maybank and SAS.
Ernst and Young have 19 points and two matches to go as well. They play Tenaga Nasional on Aug 26 and PISC-Nur Insafi the next day.
Former champions Maybank also collected full points at the TLDM Stadium in Lumut when they whipped Dolphin 9-0.
Former national player Chairil Anwar scored four goals while Hairul Nizam Rani grabbed two goals for their fifth win in the league. The Tigers now have 17 points from eight matches but face table-toppers Sapura and BSN this week.
The other goal scorers for the Tigers were Mohamed Izwan Hassan, Mohamed Annuar Ali and Mohamed Fadzli Anuar.
At the Kuantan Hockey Stadium Telekom Malaysia edged SAS Pahang 6-5. Telekom had taken a 6-2 lead by the 48th minute and looked set to romp home easy winners.
But SAS staged a late fight back and in a space of seven minutes scored three goals in the 51st, 53rd and 58th minutes to keep up the fight till the end.
Indian Len Aiyappa scored a hattrick for Telekom while Mirnawan Nawawi scored two goals. Dhanraj Pillay scored the other goal. The players on target for SAS were Ismail Abu (two), Al-Aman Mustafa, Jafree Ibrahim and Mohamed Soffian Mohamed.
TUDM ended their debut in preliminary round of the Malaysia Hockey League with a win in their last match when they beat PISC-Nur Insafi 5-3 at the Sungei Petani Hockey Stadium.
The Navy boys had lost their previous nine matches and had conceded 106 goals in the process. The win yesterday allowed them to avoid last place in the league.
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