KLANG: Malaysia Sports School carved out a 5-2 win over MPK-Olak to take over the provisional leadership of Division One in the MHF-Milo-Admiral Junior Hockey League at the Pandamaran Hockey Stadium here yesterday.
The Sports School went 3-0 up in the first half with goals by Mohd Shukri (eighth minute), Mohd Fikri Bassar (27th) and Amir Hamzah (32nd). MPK-Olak then reduced the deficit to 3-2 through Khairul Fitri Ahmad (39th and 46th). Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin then restored the Sports School's three-goal advantage in the 47th and 64th minutes.
The Sports School have 16 points but may lose their lead after today's other Division One clashes involving the other three title contenders.
Tenaga Nasional will play Anderson XYBase in Jalan Pantai while Telekom Pahang will take on MPPJ at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil. Tenaga, Anderson and Telekom all have 13 points, with goal difference separating them.
In yesterday's match, the Sports School opened accounts in the eight minute when Mohd Shukri beat the MPK-Olak defence to slot home with a reverse hit from the top D.
After a series of missed chances, Mohd Fikri doubled their tally off a deflection from a penalty corner set piece.
When Amir added a third in the 32nd minute, the game looked over for the Klang side, who had gone into the match hoping to collect at least a point to enhance their chances of a place in the last eight.
MPK-Olak came out for the second half a transformed side. It took them just four minutes after the break to reduce the deficit when Khairul deflected the ball in off a free hit outside the D. However, the Sports School players claimed that Khairul did not touch the ball in the D. Their protest, however, was in vain.
Khairul added a second MPK-Olak goal in the 46th minute when his attempt from the top D had goalkeeper Ahmad Bazli rooted to the ground.
But all hopes of a MPK-Olak revival were doused by national Under-19 forward Tengku Ahmad, found the net in the 47th and 64th minutes.
Sports School coach Tai Beng Hai said his players were a bit rusty after the three-week break and was glad to have earned all three points.
“We have two more matches to go and we can think about the goals after this. The important thing is that we are still in the title race,” he said.
At the Kuala Terengganu Hockey Stadium, MSS Terengganu defeated Srii Aroma of Penang 2-1 to keep their chances of a last-eight berth alive.
Saiful Amri Idris scored both the MSS Terengganu goals in the 22nd and 48th minutes while M. Krishnasamy replied for Srii Aroma in the 52nd minute.
MSS Terengganu have 10 points and can confirm their quarter-final place on Sunday if they beat MPK-Olak.