Wasteful UniKL pay the price

Press Release

UniKL

TNB surprise UniKL with opening win

Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL)opened their campaign in the 2018 Premier League on a wrong footing following a 3-2 defeat against Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil today.

Arul Selvaraj’s university outfit, led by six foreign internationals and three Malaysian national players, went into the match looking for a positive start after falling in the semi-finals stage of the Tan Sri P. Alagendra Cup following a 3-1 defeat against Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) last week.

National player Muhamad Ramadan Rosli shot TNB ahead in the 24th minute from a field goal but Dutchman Jeroen Dolf Hertzberger clawed UniKL back in the 38th minute via their third penalty corner attempt.

TNB, however, went 2-1 ahead three minutes later when they were awarded a penalty stroke. Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abd Jalil was spot on.

UniKL rallied back to close the gap and Hertzberger once agaian came to his side’s rescue by netting the equaliser in 45th minute in similiar fashion. But the joy in the UniKL camp was shortlived five miutes to the end as TNB struck back through an open goal from Syed Mohamad Syafiq Syed Cholan to give his side the much needed morale boosting start.

“It wasn’t a nice start to the league for us but its not the end. What is important is the end result in the tournament. We must look at how best we can get back and play a much better game,” said Arul.

“If we are going to be thinking as champions than we should start playing like champions.”

“I am confident they (players) will click as a team with more matches. Today, some players just over did it in their performance and that caused this defeat.We just have to play as a team.”

Meanwhile, TNB head coach Nor Saiful Zaini attributed the victory to “hard work’ put in by his players against a formidable opposition.

“I am very excited and happy with this win. It has helped build the confidence level of the youngster. It was a great win against a strong side. Athough the score 3-2 does not reflect anything but to me it is important as the players showed their mental strength to stay in the game and win every ball till the end. It showed they are matured and have the ability to comeback even at 2-2,” said Nor Saiful.

In an earlier match, TNB Thunderbolts jolted Maybank 2-1 to give head coach Muhamad Amin Rahim’s youngsters a head start in the league.

Australian Wookey Oscar William fired Maybank ahead in the eighth minute from a penalty stroke attempt but defender Muhammad Arif Syafie Ishak restored parity for Thunderbolts with a penalty corner conversion in the 43rd minute before Arif Sabron surprised the fancied Maybank side from a field goal with a minute remaining to the end.