KUALA LUMPUR: KL Hockey Club (KLHC) staved off a strong challenge from Tenaga Nasional to bag their fourth double in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) and in the process their 13th trophy in the series.
KLHC defeated Tenaga 2-1 in a tense final at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jail yesterday.
It was also Tenaga’s third final defeat in a row to the KLHC team.
The match also had a lot of goal-scoring chances, penalty corners and even two penalty strokes. But the more consistent performance from KLHC won the day with Pakistani Mohamed Imran netting the winner late in the second half.
Imran also won the Man-of-the-Match award while KLHC skipper Mohamed Razie Rahim was adjudged the Best Player of the Tournament. Both players won RM2,000 each.
KLHC picked up RM70,000 while Tenaga went back with RM50,000.
Both teams started off cautiously but the champions were the early aggressors.
But against the run of play, Tenaga took the lead in the eighth minute through a field attempt by Amir Farid.
KLHC continued to control the game and in the 20th minute, managed to draw level.
They earned their first penalty corner of the match and from the rebound, Mohamed Syamin Yusof struck home from close range.
Four minutes later, Faizal Saari was fouled in the D by Fareed Ahmad and earned his team a penalty stroke. Faizal, who took the flick, failed to score.
The second half saw KLHC dominating the proceedings and could have increased their lead in the 45th minute had the umpire stuck to his decision.
Instead of a penalty stroke, the umpire changed his mind and gave the team a penalty corner. Nothing came off it.
KLHC had several more penalty corners to get the goals but they could not beat the Tenaga defence.
In the 64th minute, KLHC finally got their penalty stroke for a foul in the D.
This time Mohameed Imran took the flick and his low shot had goalkeeper S. Kumar well beaten.
Tenaga Nasional pushed for the equaliser but all came to nought as Imran’s goal was enough to give KLHC the title.
Earlier, Thunderbolt won the Division One overall title when they won a penalty shootout 3-1 against UiTM. Both teams failed to break the 2-2 deadlock at the end of regulation time. In the penalty shootout, Thunderbolt proved more adept and went on to lift the title in the debut season. Mohamed Zulkarnian and Azril Misron scored Thunderbolt’s goals in the 28th and 40th minutes respectively.
Faheed Saifullah gave hope for UiTM when he converted a penalty stroke in the 49th minute while Mohamed Akmal Tajuddin added the equaliser in the 59th minute.