MHL Update: UniKL-TRC defeats title holder YNS
Yayasan Negri Sembilan (YNS) has failed to sustain its wining spirit and lost to Unfancied University Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) in the first game of the Premier Division in the ongoing Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) at the Tun Razak Hockey Stadium in Kuala Lumpur,
city of Malaysia.
As per the expectations of critics, YNS, the title holders of the league could not deliver an impressive game in the absence of three Pakistani players and lost the match. Muhammad Waqas, Muhammad Imran and Mohammad Rasheed were out of the team due to their
commitments in the home country, which made the task easy for the opponent UniKL-TRC team.
The absence of Muhammad Imran not only affected the short corner section but also weakened the defence of the team.
The duo squads earned five penalty corners apiece; however YNS could not bore fruit from theses while UniKL-TRC successfully converted two and won the game.
The experienced attackers of UniKL including Phillip Stahr and S. Selvaraju went on to offensive game from start of the match and tested the strength of Negri’s defenders including Vivek Gupta, Mohd Zulfadli Muhamad Isa and Mohd Sabri Mohamad.
Though the KL University team was regularly carrying out attacks against the opposite squad but it was YNS, which attained first goal of the match in the 19th minute. Indian star, Prabhjot Singh passed a lax ball to Arvind, who successfully hit
it into the goalpost giving no chance to Richard Graham to block it.
The first goal of YNS accelerated the game’s tone and due squads started an offensive game in a bid to acquire the lead. UniKL earned its first penalty corner in the 22nd minute of the game, which was successfully converted by Kiwi star, Richard
However, it was KL-University side, which earned second penalty corner in the 30th minute of the match and succeeded to take the lead. Kiwi defender, Richard this time again succeeded to convert the short corner through a low-flick and put UniKL
ahead with 2-1.
Soon after the three minutes, the UniKL got another penalty corner and again gave a chance to Richard, who was failed to deliver this time. Darren Smith, the coach of UniKL was regularly boosting up the players’ confidence through prompting inside the field.
Darren Smith, who is also a national assistant coach of the Black Sticks while talking to the media said, “We played relatively well and it was three hard earned points for us. There is still much to do, especially in holding on to the ball and making chances
count, but we hope to iron out these areas in training.”
Darren was of the view that he had aim to finish the Malaysian Hockey League with notable achievements and wanted to list his team’s name among the top teams of the league. In a delight state, he said that the players are working to achieve the set targets
and hopefully they will be successful to do so.
The Kiwi coach further said that the new youngsters in the squad are improving through the foreign players, which is a good sign for the future tournaments. However, he stated that they would have to meliorate their forward line for better goal conversion
While on the other side, Coach of the Yayasan Negri Sembilan, Hasnizam Ah Sim after the match said that they could have performed better if the Pakistani players were not missed from the squad. He said, “They will back tonight and hopefully we will have
them ready for Sunday’s match against KLHC.”
UniKL will face KL Hockey Club in next game, which will also a tough task for it as opponent have psychological superiority with victory against star Sapura.