Tenaga Nasional Berhad vowing to avenge Sapura in Malaysian Hockey League semi-finals
Last year’s semi-finalists, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), and Sapura will once again face each other in the first-leg semi-final of the 2011 Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) on October 19, at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
Tenaga is mulling to avenge its last year’s defeat from Sapura, where the former managed a draw in the first-leg semi-final while lost the second-leg by 2-0.
Lailin Abu Hassan, coach of TNB, is very well aware that the opponents can defeat his team in the upcoming fixtures, despite the absence of six key players from the Sapura side.
Among the six, five are suffering from injuries while one, the captain, was suspended by the referee.
S. Kuhan argued with the referee with harsh words in the first-leg quarter-final match where Sapura was toppled by 2-1 by Nur Insafi.
The other missing players are Azreen Rizal Nasir, Redzuan Ponirin, Faisal Kamaruddin, Craig Joseph Fernandez and Norhanafpe Omar.
Star-studded Tenaga, the champions of the 2009 edition, is in fine form and clobbered Sapura in the Premier Division earlier on.
The TNB coach was of the opinion that they are expected to acquire the victory in the upcoming fixture as they did in the first phase of the league. However, he stated, that they will have to be really careful, as it will be a game of different ball.
While explaining the strategies, he underlined, “We need to play consistently and score a few goals in the first leg to avoid unnecessary pressure in the return leg. Sapura have been inconsistent of late but that does not mean they can be beaten. My players
are motivated and determined to avenge last year's semi-final defeat but to do that they need to be focused and play to strategy in both legs”.
Sapura’s trainer, I. Vikneswaran, termed the opponent squad as a good line-up comprised of young and experienced players.
In his views, Tenaga’s defence line was much more stiffened with the players from the national squad.
Commenting on the semi-final stage, Sapura’s coach said that they will make modifications in positioning the players for a competitive show. He believed that the absence of Kuhan will enhance the morale of players.
The previous results show a prediction of an even game but Tenaga Nasional Berhad seems committed to knockdown Sapura.