Maybank delivered the first shock of the TNBMHL Premier Division when they upstaged Terengganu HT 2-1 at the national Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil this evening.
It was a good performance from Maybank who in the past take time to settle down. Their strong performance and result will no doubt raise eyebrows amongst the other teams as they played asolid defensive game when required and were deadly when presented opportunities.
As for Terengganu, they had five penalty corners, but could not convert any and this will prove a problem to them if left unchecked in the coming matches.
"It is always good to start with a win and the fact that we have players from our team last year that enabled us to settle into the match faster. But this is just the begining and we must focus on our next match against Sapura tomorrow and try take the three points as well," said Maybank coach Wallace Tan.
The Tigers fielded four Pakistanis in the line up - Muhammad Irfan, Shakeel Abbasi, Muhammad Waqas and Shafqat Rasool in addition to their new local signing Jiwa Mohan.
As for Terengganu HT, they looked a more settled side compared to the opening match against Tenaga Nasional Berhad on Friday that ended in a 4-4 draw.
Maybank were the early aggressors and forced a penalty corner in the 11th minute but Terengganu keeper Hazrul Faiz Ahmad Sobri was equal to the task as he palmed out Mohd Zulhairi Hashim.
But Maybank were not to be denied and capitalised on a case of over dribbling by Terengganu skipper Mohd Shahrun Nabil. Shakeel dodged past two defenders and unleashed a reverse stick hit that had Hazrul beaten all the way for the Tigers to lead 1-0 in the 27th minute.
Terengganu upped the ante with Ismail Abu making inroads, ably supported by Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin. And they were duly rewarded as Sufi Ismat M. Rohul Amin equalised in the 33rd minute.
The East Coast side were off the blocks in a flash in the second half and forced a penalty corner in the 41st minute. But Nor Hafiq Abdul Ghaffar could not get enough force behind the ball to trouble Maybank keeper Hanafi Hassan.
Maybank took the lead in the 52nd minute but it was more a case of luck then ability. Shafqat burst through on the right and his hit was heading out at the far post when Waqas stretched his stick and diverted the ball into goal.
Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin was yellow carded in the 66th minute and Terengganu was forced to chase the match with 10 players. Though they had two penalty corners in the 68th and 70th minute, they just could not find an equaliser.
"Our recovery is poor and after the tough match against TNB last night, the players felt a bit heavy. In addition we must learn not to be hasty and keep our composure when we are down," said Terengganu HT coach Nik Rozemi Nik Mohamed.