Tenaga Nasional Berhad showed that they are back in the reckoning as they demolished Yayasan Negeri Sembilan 3-0 at the National Hockey Stadium this evening.
Having lost the first match against KLHC last Saturday, this was TNB's second successive win after they defeated Nur Insafi 5-1 on Wednesday night.
It was a commanding performance by TNB, especially keeper S. Kumar who denied YNS any goal with his superb anticipation and Faisal Saari who scored a hattrick.
"We did not play as well as we did against Nur Insafi in our last match but I guess the three points is what matters. Our final pass is still missing and that is why we are not finding a way past the defence," said TNB coach Lailin Abu Hassan.
"What we need to do is correct our flaws as fast as we can lest we are punished. More important is that we need to improve as the league progresses and while I am happy with the points, there can be more effort on the pitch.
"Our youngsters must also keep their composure as we cannot afford to play with 10 men for we will lose out against tougher opponents. And I will have a chat with them to control their temper and not get provoked easily."
Both the teams started in attacking mode, opting to throw caution into the wind as they looked for an early goal. But the forays were limited to the midfield areas as none of them had a clear shot at goal.
But all that changed as TNB were awarded a penalty corner in the 10th minute and the low flick by Mohd Amin Rahim hit the foot of YNS defender Ihsan Ullah Khan on the line, thus leaving umpire K. Illango with no option but to award a penalty stroke.
Faisal Saari kept his composure to put the ball past YNS keeper Nasir Ahmad to give TNB a 1-0 lead.
And in the 20th minute Faisal doubled the advantage for TNB as he ghosted in from the right before slamming a reverse stick shot past Nasir.
Though YNS were awarded two penalty corners in the 27th and 30th minutes, Ihsan who is normally deadly in such situations failed to beat TNB keeper S. Kumar.
But while Faisal proved deadly in the semi circle with his finishing, it was obvious he had not learnt his lesson from the 2010 Commonwealth Games where he was suspended for hitting the Scottish keeper.
For this time around he took a swipe at Nasir as he burst through the middle and a fracas almost broke out as the players squared up. Umpire Illango sent Faisal to the sin bin.
And in the 48th minute, it was the turn of Muhammad Firhan Ashaari to be sent to the sin bin.
However Faisal atoned for his antics as he converted a penalty corner in the 56th minute to complete his hattrick and put TNB 3-0 ahead.
Try as they did, YNS could not find a way back.
On the second pitch, Nur Insadfi scored a minute from time to register a 4-3 win over armed Forces Airod to register their first win in the MHL.
Nur Insafi opened scoring in the 5th minute through Damandeep Singh but ATM were on level terms three minutes later via Mohd Nur Hafizie Jamil Azomi.
ATM then took a 2-1 lead in the 20th minute via Ahmad Ridzuan Zainal Abidin but this time Nur Insafi levelled through the efforts of Abdul Asim Khan six minutes later.
Nur Insafi led 3-2 in the 37th minute when Prem Kumar scored, but once again ATM levelled as Mohd Zulkifli converted a penalty corner in the 61st minute.
As the match looked like it was heading for a draw, Syed Sibtian Raza Naqvi converted a penalty corner to give the Penang side all three points.