KUALA LUMPUR: Double champions Terengganu put a dent in Sapura’s Premier Division title hopes with a convincing 5-2 win in the Malaysia Hockey League at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
The win at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Sun day gave Terengganu 18 points from seven matches. They are second in the six-team table behind leaders Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KHC), who are on 19 points after beating Tenaga Nasional 2-1.
Terengganu, who play their last three matches at home in Kuala Terengganu, are rated the favourites to retain the title.
For Sapura, it was their third straight defeat, leaving them in third place on 10 points.
The Terengganu-Sapura match was as good as over after 30 minutes. Terengganu led 3-0, thanks to strikes by Fitri Saari (fifth minute), Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (23rd) and Ismail Abu (30th).
Sapura then managed to score two quick goals through Pakistanis Kashif Ali (41st) and Mohamed Imran (43rd). But Terengganu stepped up a gear to score two more goals through Faizal Saari (44th) and skipper Mohamed Shahrun Nabil (59th).
Sapura coach Tai Beng Hai said conceding the three early goals brought about their downfall.
“We only played well in phases. This is our third straight defeat, but we plan to keep on going and see how high we can finish,” said Beng Hai.
Terengganu coach Sarjit Singh was pleased to get another three points on board.
“Sapura are a good team and it was crucial for us to collect full points. Our next three matches are at home and that’s a big boost for us in the title run-in.” said Sarjit.
Terengganu clinched the title at home last year. They will have the chance to repeat the feat when they play KLHC in the league’s final fixtures on Sept 2.
Before the showdown, Terengganu have to play Tenaga (Aug 28) and Maybank (Aug 30).