Tenaga Nasional Berhad got their act together to defeat a young UniKL side 4-2 in the TNB Malaysian Hockey league at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil this evening. It was TNB's first win of the season after being held to draws in the opening week by Terengganu HT (4-4) and KL Hockey Club (3-3). As for UniKL it was their second defeat, having lost to KLHC (5-0)
UniKL gave a good account of themselves against the title favourites and wasted five penalty corners that could have made the final outcome much closer. Infact credit ought to go to the UniKL youngsters who took the game to their more fancied opponents despite being 3-0 down.
"We had the chances but failed to take them. But I am proud of my playersa as they played well and were not overawed at all. It is never easy playing against experienced sides by my youngsters never gave up fighting. It is only the third match in the MHL, and there is still a long way to go," said UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj.
" I am sure the players picked up several pointers and will not repeat the mistakes. They have the top penalty corner experts in the country and to concede two goals in that department was to be expected. But we will prevail and not allow this defeat to affect us and come back stronger when we face Maybank on Sunday."
TNB went for the jugular right from the first whistle and put the UniKL defence undewr tremendous pressure. And it almost paid off in the 3rd minute when Faisal Saari made an attempt that was padded away by Shahrul Azaddin Auskarzie. The rebound fell to Firhan Ashaari whose shot was pused away by the UnbiKL custodian.
UniKL started making inroads into the TNB half and in the 11th minute dedy Aryadi Jumaidi found himself at the top of the semi circle with only keeper S. Kumar to beat but he shot straight into the keeper.
TNB then forced two successive penalty corners in the 15th and 16th minutes but UniKL held firm. However the bubble eventually burst when Firhan Ashaari burst through the middle to put TNB 1-0 up in the 18th minute.
Mohd Amin Rahim made sure of TNB's third penalty corner in the 20th minute to double the advantage for TNB. At the break TNB led 2-0/
Faisal got into the scoring act when he converted TNB's fourth penalty corner in the 37th minute and the outcome of the match was of academic interest. Shahril saabah then fired hom a half volley in the 56th minute to make it 4-0.
Mohd Noor Faeez Ibrahim got two goals back in the 61st minute and 70th minute for UniKL but it was too late to gain anything from the match.
"It was important to get the first win today after the two draws last week. We had to conserve energy as we are up against Sapura tomorrow night. IN terms of strategy, we also made some changes as it was not working well in the last two matches, so we tweaked it a bit to suit our players ability and it paid dividends," said TNB coach Nor Azlan Bakar.