Defending champions KL Hockey Club put the issue of the exodus of their star players behind them as they scored a convincing 5-0 win over UniKL in their opening match of the TNBMHL Premier Division at the National Hockey Stadium.
The win gives them the boost they need as they face favourites Tenaga Nasional Berhad in the Charity Shield this Sunday.
"It is always good to start off with a win and there is no denying that we have one eye on the match this Sunday. I am glad that those who played in the Azlan Shah showed no fatigue and paced themselves well. We took our chances well and the two early goals allowed us to play under no pressure," said KLHC manager George Koshy.
It took KLHC only three minutes to open accounts with Pakistani import Akhtar Ali finding the back of the net. A minute later Akhtar was on target to put his team 2-0 ahead in the opening 5 minutes.
It was a total dominance by KLHC after that with Australian Tim Deavin combining well with Mohd Razie Rahim in defence and Waseem Ahmad pulling the strings in midfield, ably supported by Mohd Shukri Mutalib.
The youngsters from UniKL gave it their best but were obvioulsy lacking in match temprement as KLHC held on to the ball and attacked in numbers. And KLHC also slowed down the pace of the match as they were conserving their energy for the match on Sunday, which will be a repeat of last year's final.
Razie then got onto the scoring chart, converting a penalty corner in the 20th minute to make it 3-0 for KLHC.
Chua Boon Huat added the fourth for KLHC in the 37th minute with Harvinder Singh extending it to 5-0 in the 61st minute.
"We lost to a better team and really the two quick goals at the start of the match affected our players as they were chasing the game after that," said UniKL manager Mohd Faiz Isa.