UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOJI MARA (UiTM) secured the division one title of the TNB Malaysia Hockey League in thrilling fashion as they defeated TNB Thunderbolts 5-4 in the decider today.
UiTM who had a two point (28points) advantage at the top of the table over closest rivals Thunderbolts (26 points)only needed a draw to be crowned as champions but they never looked to take things easy as they went all out for the win. UiTM who last picked up the division one title back in 2009 were by far the better team of the evening and were well deserved winners.
It was the table toppers who dominated the match from the opening whistle and it only took them five minutes to stamp their mark.
Mohamad Afify Mohd Rodzi tapped in from close range after a goal-mouth scramble. However the domination up front caught the UiTM defenders napping which eventually lead to a Thunderbolts equalizer.
Amir Zulkarnain Ahmad Robangi found the top corner from Thunderbolts first penalty corner off the game, which came in the 13th minute. But UiTM kept their composure and immediately restored their lead a minute later.
Muhammad Asraf Zulzali punished Thunderbolts with a well taken deflection after some sloppy defending. Thunderbolts however pulled level once again in the 21st minute through Faheed Saifullah Shahrom Jamil.
The second half was as entertaining as the first with both teams going on the offense. But it was UiTM who took the lead once again from their third penalty corner of the game in the 39th minute, Nor Nashriq Farhan Nor Azman got on the score sheet with a brilliant deflection of a set piece.
Thunderbolts fought back once again and found the equalizer in the 44th minute through Zulkarnain, but yet again they failed to keep their composure and immediately fell behind the following minute when Afify slotted home his second goal of the day for UiTM at the other end.
The excitement continued as Thunderbolts once again surged forward and found an equalizer through Mohd Fairuz Hamsani.
However, with five minutes left on the clock Ahmed Iqwan Shah Harun assured the title for UiTM as he finished off a quick counter attack.
At the adjacent pitch Premier Division champions KL Hockey Club (KLHC) maintained their unbeaten run after coming from behind to defeat Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) 4-2.
KLHC completed their season with 11 wins and one draw from 12 matches and will now shift their attention to the TNB Cup.
UniKL surprisingly took the lead in the 25th minute courtesy of their top goal scorer Mohd Noor Faeez Ibrahim who netted his 11th goal of the season form a penalty corner.
Mohd Syafiq Zulzarin scored UniKL’s second in the 41st minute before the flood gates opened for KLHC.
KLHC picked up their goals through Harvinder Singh (49), Akhtar Ali (50, 61), and Muhammad Najib Abu Hassan (59).