Thursday, February 4, 2010


The two teams have been regulars in the MHL ever since it inauguration in 1987 and have had their fare share of success over the three decades.

At the end of the second leg semi final on Saturday, one of them will have to bite the dust and not play for the coveted trophy in the final slated for February 12.

Maybank will welcome back their experienced defender K. Gobinathan who had a seven cm tear on his hamstring. But an injection and medical clearance means that the sturdy defender will be back in defence, shaky during the two leg quarter final matches againt UniKl last weekend.

Still Maybank does not have enough strength on its bench to trouble TNB who however have their own problems in the backline as skipper Mohd Suffian is out for the next two months as a result of a fracture sustained in the last preliminary round match against KLHC in Malacca on January 23.

TNB have the likes of Tajul Rosli, Faisal Saari and Fairus Ramli to trouble the Maybank defence but if Suhaimi Ibrahim is on form, the bull like forward can barge through the TNB defenders who tend to be shaky when pressured.

What they have to say:

S. Velappan - Coach Maybank

" It will be a close match as both teams are well aware of each others strengths and weaknesses. We are lucky that Gobi will be back but at the same time it will take a team effort to overcome TNB. The first leg will see both teams playing cautiously as we cannot let our opponents have an advantage going into the second leg. Our preliminary round saw both winning one game each and utlimately the team that makes the least mistakes will make the final.''

Manjit Singh - Coach TNB

" We have preapred well for the semi final and it is a totally new ball game as the end result will determine if we have what it takes to vie for the overall title. Matches between our teams have always been close and I expect it to be the same. Suffian's absence will be felt but we have capable replacements. The important thing is to make use of the chances and that is what we intend to do."