KUALA LUMPUR: Tenaga Nasional’s R. Nadesh will shoulder a heavy responsibility in the Malaysia Junior Hockey League (MJHL) semi-final second-leg match against Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MPPJ) at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil today.
Tenaga, who were the runners-up last year, go into the match trailing 1-4 and the 18-year-old KL player will not only have to drive his team from midfield but will also have the task to deliver the goals.
Nadesh, a first-year electrical engineering student at the Universiti Tenaga Nasional (Uniten), hopes that he will be able to cope with the pressure of playing a dual role.
“It won’t be easy for me to lead the midfield and at the same time go for goals in this do-or-die match,” said Nadesh, who is disappointed with his scoring rate this season.
“I scored 18 goals for Malay Mail in Division Two last season. But this season, I only managed to score four goals in 11 matches.
“I am under pressure to deliver tomorrow. We are three goals down and it is certainly no easy task to overcome the deficit against a team of MPPJ’s calibre.
“They also have a good goalkeeper in Mohd Khairul (Azhar), who was a stumbling block for us in the first-leg match.”
Besides Nadesh, the other midfielders in the team are Kamarul Zaman Adrasyid, Mohd Adam Mustafa and Mohd Shafiq Othman.
Captain Saiful Nurfaiz Saiful Adzuan, who missed the first-leg match because of fever, will be back to marshal the defence.
MPPJ coach Roslan Salikon has reminded his players not to take it easy against Tenaga.
“We will play a very cautious game. We have learned our lesson in last year’s quarter-final second-leg match against SAS (Sultan Ahmad Shah) of Pahang team (MPPJ won the first-leg 4-1 but were beaten 1-5 in the return match),” he said.
MPPJ will be at full strength in attack today with the return of Hang Edzharsyah Hang Tuah from a one-match suspension.
“Edzharsyah will certainly add more bite to our attack. We will not sit on our three-goal lead. We have to get the goals to pile on more pressure on Tenaga,” said Roslan.