Leaders to bank on penalty corners to extend perfect start to the season


BY AFTAR SINGH

KUALA LUMPUR: Ernst and Young are finding the range in their penalty corners. The Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) leaders have scored 14 of the 24 goals from the short corners in their four matches so far. 

And they will again be relying on their set-piece battery led by national defender Mohd Amin Rahim when they clash with Customs at the Pandamaran Stadium in Klang today. 

Top scorer Mohd Amin has netted 10 goals from the short-corner flicks, including hat-tricks against Malay Mail and Dolphins besides two goals each in the matches against Maybank and Tenaga Nasional.  

The other four penalty corner goals were scored by Zulkifli Rejab, the Junior Hockey League's top scorer with 23 league goals. 

Ernst and Young coach A. Arulselvaraj said he is impressed with Amin, who has been very consistence in his penalty corner conversion rate. 

“He has scored in very match and we will be banking on him again to deliver the goals against Customs. Besides Amin, we also have Zulkifli, who is also doing well. 

“We hope our penalty corner set-pieces will continue to work in the league,” said Arulselvaraj. 

However, Arulselvaraj warned against taking Customs lightly as they had managed to hold double champions Tenaga Nasional to a 1-1 draw. 

“Customs are no pushovers as they have a few experienced players, who can give a strong fight to any team in the league. 

“We also have to watch out for their junior players, who are fit and will be trying to over-run our defence,” said Arulselvaraj. 

Ernst and Young lead the 10-team league standings with maximum points from four matches while Sapura are in second spot on 10 points. 

However, Sapura powered by former South Korean international Kang Keon-wook, have an easy match against MHL debutants Project Squad at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium today. 

With just three points from three matches, the Project squad boys face a daunting task against formidable Sapura that have several international players in their ranks. 

Former champions Maybank, languishing in ninth spot with just two points so far, will again face a tough match against Royal Malay Regiment (RMR) at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil. 

Maybank coach Wallace Tan expected another torrid time against the hard-hitting soldiers. 

“However, after holding favourites Sapura to a 2-2 draw on Friday, my players are in the right frame of mind to give a better display against RMR.” 

League and overall champions Tenaga should get their defence back on track against lowly Dolphins at the Azlan Shah Stadium today. Tenaga have collected four points and need the points badly. 

Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN), meanwhile, should collect full points against bottom side Malay Mail at the Tun Razak Stadium. 

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