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HOCKEY: Shakeel eyes KLHC scalp


MAYBANK import Shakeel Abbasi is bent on carving an upset against Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) in the Malaysia Hockey League Premier Division today.

A win, said Shakeel, should put them in the running to chase for the League title after a chaotic weekend saw KLHC shed five points.

Maybank, with help from Pakistan Olympians Shakeel and Muhammad Waqas, have eight points and are only six adrift off table-toppers Tenaga Nasional.

In the first leg encounter, Maybank lost 4-1 to KLHC.

"Our direction depends on the matches this weekend and the one against KLHC will be of particular interest to us as they are desperate to win to keep their league title charge alive," said Shakeel, who made his MHL debut two years ago with Yayasan Negri Sembilan.

"So, the pressure is on KLHC, and as long as Maybank have an outside chance for the title, we will continue to fight and that is why I believe that the race for the title is still open as even Sapura will fancy their chances."

The initial stages were difficult for the Pakistan duo as they failed to forge an understanding with the Maybank strike force.

"It is always difficult to play for a new team and it took some adjusting but we have become more accustomed and have fit in nicely," said Shakeel.

KLHC lost 4-3 to Tenaga Nasional and were held 1-1 by Sapura last weekend and can't afford another disastrous weekend.

KLHC are expected to be taken to the wire by Maybank, but should collect maximum points against Nur Insafi-MBI on Sunday.

Surprise leaders Tenaga face Nur Insafi today, whom they beat 5-2 in the first leg, but must be at their best against UniKL on Sunday to keep their lead.


TODAY -- Premier Division: Nur Insafi-MBI v TNB (Azlan Shah Stadium, 5pm), UniKL v Sapura (National Hockey Stadium II, 6pm), Maybank v KL Hockey Club (National Hockey Stadium II, 8pm).

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