An MBPJ player (in yellow) attempting a field goal against Malacca High School in their Malaysian Junior Hockey League Div 1 match in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday. - SHAARI CHEMAT/The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MBPJ) stamped their credentials as potential champions with a convincing 3-1 win over title aspirants Malacca High School in Division One of the MHC-Milo-NSC Malaysia Junior Hockey League (MJHL) at the Education Ministry Pitch on Sunday.
The win took the PJ team to second in the standings behind champions SSTMI-Thunderbolt. Both have six points after two matches but the SSTMI team have a better goal difference.
It was Malacca High School’s first defeat in three matches.
Their earlier two matches against Anderson and KLSS-KLHC ended in draws.
At the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh, Anderson chalked up another draw. This time it was a 1-1 stalemate against SSTMI Juniors.
They have two points after two draws and two defeats while it was the first points for SSTMI Juniors.
The win for MBPJ was crucial as they have two tough away matches in the coming weekend against the two SSTMI schools in Johor Baru.
MBPJ took the lead in the 31st minute through a field goal by Zulaniq Adib Abdul Razak. They doubled their lead in the 44th minute through Mohamed Nor Ikhwan Nor Rahman.
Zul Pidaus Mizun then made it 3-0 in the 54th minute and a lop-sided match seemed to be in the offing.
But the Malacca side managed to pull a goal back in the 60th minute through Mohamed Asyraf Zuhry Mahat. They then held on to keep the scoreline down.
MBPJ team manager Zainal Abidin Ismail said that they played a much better game than the one against Anderson in their opening tie.
“It was a more settled performance from the players and they did not show any nerves.
“We knew this match was crucial to keep our title ambition going.
“We face two tough matches next weekend and we have to go there with a winning hand.
“I am glad to see the players making more efforts with their attempts. We need to be alert at all times and stay focused in the matches.
“With just six matches to go for the league title every game counts and a draw is as good as a defeat,” said Zainal.