PETALING JAYA: Terengganu are banking on hotshot strikers Faizal Saari and Jang Jong-hyun of South Korea to turn the heat on to secure second place in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).
With defending champions UniKL having practically wrapped up the title with a perfect 33 points from 11 matches, the fight is now on between Terengganu who have 24 points and Tenaga Nasional with 28.
Jong-hyun is leading the MHL goal scoring chart with 14 goals while Faizal has 13 goals under his belt after 11 matches and the two strikers will be key figures in the pivotal match between the two teams at the Batu Buruk Hockey Stadium in Kuala Terengganu today.
Tenaga, with 13 national players in their side, will be no pushovers but Faizal believes Terengganu can rise to the occasion.
“If we win the match, we have a chance to finish second. We can get the better of them in our backyard, ” said the 29-year-old striker.
In the first round match, Faizal scored two penalty corners goals but Terengganu still lost 2-4 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Jan 22.
Goalkeeper S. Kumar was the toast for Tenaga, making some fine saves to help his team claim the vital win.
Faizal, who has been scoring in almost every match, said he hopes to get the support from his teammates to score either field or penalty corner goals against Tenaga.
“It is a crucial match for us as we need to avenge our first-round defeat. We are all ready to give Tenaga their toughest challenge in the league, ” said Faizal who guided Terengganu to finish runners-up to UniKL in the MHL last year.
Terengganu can fancy their chances if they win today as Tenaga could drop points again in their huge encounter against UniKL on Sunday.
Terengganu have two relatively easier matches to go – against bottom side Hockey Academy (Hockademy) at home on Friday and fourth-placed Maybank in Bukit Jalil on Sunday. Tenaga face Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) on Friday before taking on UniKL.
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