KUALA LUMPUR: Tenaga Nasional stayed in the hunt for the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division title by trouncing Nur Insafi Warriors 5-0 at the Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium in Kuantan yesterday.
Tenaga are now third in the seven-team standings with nine points from two wins while Nur Insafi languish at the bottom of the standings with just one point from six matches.
Former champions Tenaga could have won by a bigger margin if not for the brilliance of Nur Insafi goalkeeper Nasir Ahmed.
The win was a morale boost for Tenaga, who will face favourites and second-placed Maybank at 8pm today.
In yesterday’s match, Tenaga dominated right from first whistle and their persistence paid off in the 10th minute when forward Amir Farid Ahmad Fuzi broke through the centre to slip the ball past Nasir.
Forward Faisal Saari, the top scorer in the MHL the last two years, got into the scoring act in the 18th minute as he sent an unstoppable drag flick off a penalty corner to give Tenaga a 2-0 lead. It was his seventh goal in five matches.
Barely two minutes later, Tenaga made it 3-0 off yet another penalty corner converted by defender Mohd Amin Rahim.
Trailing, Nur Insafi pushed forward in search of goals but Tenaga goalkeeper S. Kumar pulled off double saves twice from penalty corners taken by Nur Hrsikesa Thaitchana Muruthi in the 26th and 29th minutes.
After the breather, Tenaga continued their domination by earning another seven penalty corners to the four they had in the first half.
And Mohd Sallehin Ghani deflected the ball past keeper Nasir in the 58th minute to make it 4-0.
Mohd Aminuddin Mohd Zain completed the rout off another penalty corner as he buried his drag flick in the 66th minute.
Tenaga team manager Nor Saiful Zaini was pleased with his team’s performance.
“My players clicked well, played a tight marking game and did not concede any goals for the first time in a match,” said Nor Saiful.
“After taking a 3-0 lead in the first-half, I rested my key players as we want to conserve energy for the tough match against Maybank. It was a morale boosting win and I hope my players can rise to the occasion tomorrow to get the better of Maybank, who are good in every department,” said the former international.