Sapura came back from being a goal down to score twice in the closing stages in their 2-1 win over UniKL while defending champions KL Hockey Club also continued their winning run, edgining Maybank 3-2 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
It was a heartbreaking defeat for UniKL as they played above themselves but lapses in defence attributed to them conceding two goals in the space of two minutes while for KLHC, they led twice only for Maybank to equalise until skipper Azlan Misron scored the decisive goal seven minutes from time.
Thus KLHC and Sapura both maintained their unbeaten run in the MHL win three wins each.
UniKL used their youth to the maximum as they ran hard and fast, forcing the Sapura players to chase, thus severely sapping their energy. And the move paid off as early as the 12th minute as Mohammad Rashid Baharom put UniKL in the lead.
Despite winning two penalty corners in the 8th and 31st minutes, UniKL could not increase their lead.
On the other hand Sapura poured men forward in search for the equaliser, but with ace striker Azreen Rizal shackled, they could not even win a penalty corner despite their domination of the first half.
The second half started with UniKL opting to pack their defence. And Sapura even pushed skipper S. Kuhan into the attack, hoping for his experience to help them get the equaliser.
Sapura were awarded penalty corners in the 39th, 42nd and 45th minute but neither Kuhan nor Megat Azrafiq Megat Termizi could find the back of the net. And Jiwa Mohan was guilty off holding on to the ball too long when a pass would have been a better option.
But they made their fourth penalty corner in the 64th minute count as the rebound fell to Jiwa who tucked it into goal to level the score at 1-1.
And two minutes later Jiwa broke through on the left to deliver a pin point pass to Mohd Fitri Abu Bakar who had the simplest of task slotting it in to give Sapura a 2-1 lead.
Though UniKL created several chances in the dying minutes, they just could not find the breaktrhough. But in consolation
Maybank started off promisingly as they forced three penalty corners in the 7th, 8th and 9th minute. But they could not make them count.
KLHC took the lead in the 23rd minute as Harvinder Singh put the finishing touches to a penalty corner. However Maybank hit back three minutes later when Mohd Riduan Nasir scored, also from a penalty corner.
National player Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin restored KLHC's advantage in the 30th minute and despite being awarded another penalty corner in the 34th minute, the defending champions failed to add to their goal tally.
The Tigers came out fighting in the second half and were duly rewarded in the 45th minute as Suhaimi Ibrahim scored off a penalty corner to make it 2-2.
Azlan Misron was on target in the 63rd minute off KLHC's 7th penalty corner to put his team 3-2 ahead. And they held on to consolidate their position on the top of the table.