KUALA LUMPUR: Two-time overall champions Tenaga Nasional had to struggle before grabbing three full points against MPPJ, prevailing 2-1 in the MHF-Milo-NSC-Admiral Junior Hockey League Division One match at the KL Hockey Stadium in Jalan Pantai here yesterday.
Despite taking the lead as early as the seventh minute through S. Selvaraju who fired home a field goal, Tenaga, who won the league title in 2000 and 2001, failed to find any more openings in the first half and were fortunate not to concede any as MPPJ dictated the play.
In the second half, MPPJ evened up the scoring through a penalty corner executed cleanly by Zairil Mohamed Zafri.
However, six minutes later, Tenaga grabbed their winning goal when national under-19 player Abbas Nekmat fired home after his teammate Fairuz Hamsani's first attempt was blocked by MPPJ goalkeeper Saiful Amrie Basirun.
Tenaga coach K. Rajan said his players were at fault for missing too many chances, but was grateful at being able to walk away with three points.
We could have scored more goals, but we made it hard for ourselves, said Rajan, who added later that he was satisfied with his team's overall performance.
Meanwhile, in Seremban, a hattrick by P. Sures (5th, 27th and 52nd minute) propelled Anderson-XYBase to the top of the table when they beat Yayasan Negri Sembilan 3-1.
Yayasan's solitary goal was scored by Faiz Fathullah Mohamed Nor through a penalty corner in the 25th minute.