SSTMI Juniors' Muhammad Luqman Hakim Mohamad Asri (left) and UniKL's Rafizul Ezry Mustafa tussle for the ball during their Malaysian Junior Hockey League Division One match at National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Feb 7, 2014. — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS / The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: Mohd Najmi Farizal Jazlan was the hero and the villain after helping Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI)-Thunderbolt to a 7-2 win over Malacca High School in a Division One match of the MHC-Milo-NSC Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL) at the Bukit Serendit Hockey Stadium in Malacca.
Najmi fired a hat-trick of penalty corner goals as Thunderbolt bagged their fourth straight win to stay at the top of the standings – and take a step closer to retaining the title. They still have two matches left to play – against Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) at National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Saturday and KLSS-KLHC next weekend.
Najmi, who was on target in the 38th, 61st and 67th minutes, however, won’t play in the crucial tie against former champions UniKL after receiving his second yellow card in the match against Malacca High School.
He faces a one-match suspension for collecting eight demerit points.
Mohd Sufi Ismat Rohulamin (4th), Nik Mohd Aiman Nik Rozemi (12th), M. Saravanan (25th) and Mohd Najib Abu Hassan (45th) netted the other goals for Thunderbolt.
Amirul Hakim Nazaruddin (21st) and Mohd Hannif Abdul Razak (49th) replied for Malacca High School.
UniKL kept pace with Thunderbolt by outplaying Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) Juniors 6-0 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil for their third consecutive win.
The university team have nine points from three matches and must beat defending champions Thunderbolt to stay in contention for the league title.
UniKL’s Mohd Rahimi Iskandar also had a hat-trick – scoring in the 45th, 55th and 64th.
Mohd Shafirrul Akmal (27th), Zizi Azwan Hassan (30th) and Hafif Elkan (67th) were the other UniKL scorers.
Thunderbolt coach Wan Roslan Wan Abdul Rahman was furious with Najmi for collecting his second yellow card.
“We need his services badly as he has been scoring regularly. Without him, it will be difficult to score from penalty corner setpieces.
“But we have been double champions for the last three years ... so, I have faith in the other players to give their best and win our fourth consecutive title,” said Wan Roslan.
UniKL coach Rodhanizam Mat Radzi rued the missed penalty corner attempts, “although the boys made up for it with field goals in the second half”.
“I expect my forwards to deliver again when we play Thunderbolt tomorrow. It will be do-or-die for us as we must collect full points to stay on track for the league title.
“We have been playing second field against them for the last three years but, this time, I’m confident we can turn the tables on them,” said Rodhanizam.