Tenaga Nasional Berhad pulled off a narrow escape when they edged UniKL 3-2 in an ill tempered match at the National Hockey Stadium.
The win saw TNB keeping the second spot in the standings while UniKL are pointless after three matches and are at the bottom of the standings.Still it was a commendable performance from the young UniKL side that played with plenty of determination, but erhaps could feel hard done by some decisions that went against them.
TNB could have taken the lead in the 3rd minute when Firhan Ashaari set Faisal Saari up but the national striker slipped at the crucial moment.
UniKL had a dream start in the 5th minute as S. Selvaraju weaved past two defenders at the edge of the semi circle before unleashing a superb reverse stick hit that had TNB keeper S. Kumar beaten all the way.
But TNB made good of their first penalty corner when the flick by Faisal was palmed away by UniKL keeper Shahrul Azadin Auskarzie but not sufficiently enough and the ball trickled over the goal line to put TNB on level terms in the 13th minute.
Faisal was then put through by Firhan in the centre line and he used his speed to his advantage outpacing the UniKL defenders and went past Sharul before slotting in from an acute angle to put TNB 2-1 ahead in the 17th minute.
The second half saw UniKL dominating but were often playing with a man down as the umpires kept flashing cards at them despite the fact that some of the TNB players were resorting to questionable methods to stop them.
UniKL were awarded a penalty corner in the 61st minute and this Mohd Noor Faeez Ibrahim got his flick past Kumar to put his team on level terms.
However Faisal completed his hattrick three minutes from time to give TNB a 3-2 lead.
Though UniKL forced two late penalty corners, they could not muster up a third goal and will have to pick up the pieces as they will be up against the rampaging KLHC on Sunday night.