www.nst.com.myTENAGA Nasional Berhad (TNB) kept pace with unbeaten KL Hockey Club (KLHC) at the top of the Malaysian Hockey League Premier Division standings when they edged Sapura 1-0 while Maybank registered their first win of the season yesterday.
Muhd Firhan Ashaari scored with a fine solo effort in the 44th minute for TNB's third win of the season at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
Faizal Saari, the tournament top-scorer with nine goals, failed to find the net for the first time this season as he was tightly marked by Sapura captain Jivan Mohan.
Sapura could have scored on several occasions, especially in the first half through Muhd Marhan Mohd Jalil and Harmesh Singh and also from penalty corner attempts from Muhammad Imran after the breather but TNB goalkeeper S. Kumar denied them with fine saves.
TNB coach Nor Saiful Zaini said his players need to improve their finishing as they shouldn't have struggled yesterday.
"My attacking players, though most of them are internationals, are still inexperienced in decision making. We need to work on this problem before we face KLHC next weekend," said Nor Saiful yesterday.
"We knew it would be tough against Sapura as they have experienced players but we held on to our attacking structure and scored one goal. My back-line also did well today (yesterday)."
KLHC, meanwhile, recorded the biggest victory margin so far in the league by hammering University Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) 8-1 to maintain their 100 per cent record and lead the standings by two points over second-placed TNB.
Ismail Abu (14th and 40th) and Muhd Amerullah Abd Aziz (44th and 66th) each scored a brace while Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor (20th), Razie Rahim (27th), Harvinder Singh (51st) and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Jalil (68th) added the rest.
Muhd Noor Faeez Ibrahim replied for UniKL in the 39th minute. UniKL remained winless in the league after four matches.
In Ipoh, Maybank came back from a goal down to record a comprehensive 6-2 win over Nur Insafi.
Muhammad Ifran (27th and 32nd), Muhammad Waqas (58th and 70th), Shakeel Abbasi (52nd) and Hairul Nizam Abd Rani (65th) scored for Maybank while Nur Hrsikesa Thaitchana Murthi (18th) and Waseem Ahmad (53rd) replied for Nur Insafi.
RESULTS -- Premier Division: NUR INSAFI 2 MAYBANK 6, TNB 1 SAPURA 0, UNIKL 1 KLHC 8.