KUALA LUMPUR: Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) were on tenterhooks for a few moments before they managed to advance to the TNB Cup final this Saturday after defeating Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) 8-7 via a penalty shootout in the sime-final played at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil earlier today.
Both sides were tied 6-6 on aggregate after KLHC won the match 4-3 in normal time, erasing TNB’s advantage who won the first leg 3-2 last Sunday.
The failure of TNB forward Firhan Ashaari in converting his deciding final penalty saw KLHC winning the hotly contested semi-final.
Coach Lim Chiow Chuan was relieved after the hard fought win, being on the edge of his seat throughout the match after seeing his forwards unable to make the most of the penalty corners that came their way.
“Yes we were not up to mark with our penalty corners today and we did not manage to make the most of the scoring opportunities that came our way.
“This is what put us under pressure, though luckily each and every one of our players remained calm and played their part in the end,” said Chiow Chuan.
Chiow Chuan admitted that he could not bear to watch when the winner had to be decided by penalty shootout.
“There history as to why I do not watch penalties and it does not need to be shared. Maybe I will watch what happened from the replay of the match after this,” he said.
KLHC wasted a lot of chances that came their way in the first half when they could only convert two penalty corners out of eight in their favour.
Syed Syafiq Syed Cholan put TNB ahead earlier through a penalty corner in the 11th minute before Thomas Carson and Jang Jong Hyun each scored a goal, also via penalty corners in the 15th and 24th minutes of the match.
KLHC forward, Syamim Yusof then made it 3-1 in the 30th minute after finding free space in the D area.
In the second half, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Jalil reduced the deficit through a penalty corner in the 38th minute before Syed Syafiq leveled the score from another penalty corner only two minutes later.
Razie Rahim eventually put KLHC ahead in the 56th minute after scoring from a penalty corner which pushed the match into a penalty shootout to decide the winner.