Premier League champions Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) and Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) played out a 1-1 draw in the last match of their fixtures at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil today.
For UniKL, it was the greatest ending to their foray in the 2020 Premier League as the varsity team is probably the only side in the history of the competition to have recorded an unbeaten run of 14 matches to retain the title for the second consecutive year.
UniKL topped the pool with 40 points followed by TNB (32 points), Terengganu Hockey Team in third spot (31) and Maybank fourth. All four teams will now advance to the two-leg semi-finals of the TNB Cup that starts on Wednesday (February 22).
As League champions, UniKL won a handsome purse of RM100,000 while TNB picked RM60,000. “It was a great match for both teams with a grand ending.
As League champions, our focus was to play like champions and remain unbeaten. The players did a good job in search for the equaliser after we came down by a goal,” said UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj.
“It is a historic moment for us to retain the League title and now our focus is on the TNB Cup. We are certainly going for a treble having won the Charity Shield and League titles season.”
Both UniKL and TNB had a good number of fans who showed up to watch the arch-rivals in local hockey competitions.
A match between UniKL and TNB has always been exciting. UnIKL had the support of some 200 students from four campuses who arrived an hour before the start.
In the first round encounter between both teams on January 31 UniKL defeated TNB 1-0 through a field goal by Faridzul Afiq Mohd in the 25th minute.
The match did not live up to its hype as both teams missed scoring opportunities, especially UniKL who had the better of the exchanges in three of the four quarters.
Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abdul Jalil who has scored seven goals so far had a brilliant chance in the 26th minute but his reverse stick shot went inches over the bar.
On the opposite end Muhammad Azrai Aizad made a daring breakthrough only to be foiled in his attempt by goalkeeper David Harte.
The match passed off without goals at the end of the third quarter until Muhammad Shahril Saabah’s field goal in the 51st minute gave TNB morale-boosting lead but Mohamad Ashran Hamsani restored parity for UniKL five minute later with a field goal.
TNB had earlier scored a goal in the 49th minute through Nik Muhammad Aiman Nik Rozemi but was disallowed following a foul.
In other matches, Universiti Teknologi MARA defeated TNB Thunderbolts 4-1 and Maybank drew 2-2 with Terengganu Hockey Team.