IPOH: Anderson Xybase survived tremendous pressure in the last 15 minutes to snatch a 2-1 win over Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MPPJ) in their Malaysia Junior Hockey League (MJHL) match at the Azlan Shah Stadium here yesterday.
It was the Ipoh side’s first win in two outings. They had lost their opening match 1-0 to MPK-Olak last Saturday.
Anderson, the eight-time MHF Champions Schools winners, also had to thank goalkeeper Noorazlan Daud, who put up an outstanding show, especially in the closing stages.
Anderson took an 11th minute lead from their second penalty corner attempt. Mohd Razali Mohd Zulkipli, lurking just outside the MPPJ goalmouth, easily deflected a shot from the set-piece.
Anderson went 2-0 up in the 22nd minute when nippy Fazreen Eksan Kulub Wahab tapped in a short pass from Baljit Singh inside the D.
Rough play crept in with MPPJ the main culprits. Two of their players – Mohd. Aidil Anwar and Mohd Rahizan Ramly – were sent to the sin bin.
In the 52nd minute, MPPJ finally managed to pull one back when Aidil Anwar pounced on a rebound off Noorazlan’s outstretched hand.
Inspired, MPPJ went searching for the equaliser and had two clear chances in the dying minutes but Noorazlan stood in the way.
It was sheer relief for Anderson coach Mokhtar Baharuddin Abdullah and his players when the buzzer sounded.
“MPPJ were all over us in the last quarter of the match and I thought they would get the equaliser. My players lost possession easily and they also lost concentration,” said Mokhtar.
Anderson, however, paid a price for their victory.
Razali had to be rushed to the hospital after suffering a gash on his leg in the first minute of the second half.