KUALA LUMPUR: Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) coach K. Dharmaraj has told his men to wrap up their title challenge in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) by this weekend.
KLHC can do just that by winning both their matches against Yayasan Negri Sembilan (YNS) today and Sapura tomorrow.
Should they lose one of those two matches, it will throw a lifeline to teams like Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) and Tenaga Nasional to get right back into the title challenge.
KLHC have 28 points and five matches to go. UniKL, with four matches left, are second with 24 points. They are followed by Tenaga on 22 points and YNS and Sapura both on 21.
“We can make the title battle a little easy on ourselves. If you look at the table, Tenaga loom as the biggest threat to us in our bid for the league title. Only wins against YNS and Sapura will effectively kill off their slim chances,” said Dharmaraj, who is glad that he will have a full squad to pick from for this week’s matches.
“There are no injury worries and all the players are available for selection. So that is a good sign for us.”
KLHC have been prolific in the league thus far – scoring 50 goals in 11 matches.
Their veteran striker Chua Boon Huat is their leading hitman with 12 goals, making him the second top scorer in the MHL behind Tenaga’s Mohamed Amin Rahim (14 goals).
But KLHC’s attack is not all about one man. Theirs is a deadly three-pronged attack comprising Boon Huat, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin and Ismail Abu.
Tengku Ahmad and Ismail have also chipped in with eight and seven goals respectively.
KLHC can also count on penalty corner flicker Mohamed Razie Rahim, who has already struck nine times so far this season.
“Basically, we have a well-organised team and all them are playing to their full potential,” said Dharmaraj.
“Except for the defeat by Tenaga in our first match, we have had a good run thus far – winning nine and drawing one.
“But all this hard work will go to waste if we fumble this weekend.”
KLHC’s remaining matches are against Nur Insafi on Feb 18, Airod the next day and Tenaga Nasional on Feb 26.
The matches on the last day (Feb 26) will be held in Malacca, where the league trophy will be presented to the champions.