NATIONAL player Razie Rahim’s hat-trick handed Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) the Charity Shield when they beat Tenaga Nasional 5-3 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
The Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division curtain raiser also handed four-time consecutive double champions KLHC three vital points.
“The Charity Shield Trophy is nice to lift, but more importantly, my players fought for three points which is a first step towards defending our league title,” said KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj.
KLHC fielded six foreign players, while Tenaga had an-all local outfit.
“My six guest players have only been in the country for a few days, and the young Australians need more time to settle down as compared to my Pakistan imports. As for the locals, Razie held the fort well and also gave us a winning start,” said Dharmaraj.
Tenaga coach Nor Saiful Zaini, whose team won the Charity Shield by beating KLHC in a penalty shoot-out last year, rued his side’s missed chances.
“We missed many sitters which could have made a difference. And also KLHC players had more ball sense and control, while some of my young players could not hold onto the ball and threw away many passes which turned the match in favour of KLHC,” said Nor Saiful.
The Charity Shield, hopefully, was not an indication of the quality of play of the Premier Division, as poor hockey was the order of the day.
Tenaga Nasional were more composed in the opening minutes, as KLHC’s foreign brigade failed to gel properly in their first outing together, and Ramadhan Rosli gave the utility giants the lead in the ninth minute off a field goal.
Razie got into action in the 19th minute, and equalised with a low penalty corner flick and the game opened up a little.
Goals flew in after that, as Rahim Baharom gave KLHC the lead in the 26th minute, only to see TNB’s Amin Rahim draw level again at 2-2 with a 28th minute penalty corner.
Razie retook the lead with his second penalty corner conversion in the 29th minute, and again TNB drew level with an Azammi Adabi penalty corner goal in the 32nd minute.
Pakistan import Mohamed Imran nailed the fourth for KLHC in the 42nd minute, and Razie got his hat-trick in the 57th minute for a comfortable 5-3 win.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Hockey Confederation gave a token of appreciation to veteran coach C. Paramalingam, 80, for his tireless efforts in developing youth even as an octogenarian.
RESULT — Charity Shield: Tenaga Nasional 3 KLHC 5.
TOMORROW: Sapura v Maybank (6pm), UniKL v Terengganu HT (8pm).
SUNDAY: Tenaga v Terengganu HT (6pm, National Stadium, Pitch I); Sapura v UniKL (6pm, National Stadium, Pitch II); KLHC v Maybank (8pm, National Stadium, Pitch II).
By Jugjet Singh- NST