Negri Sembilan scrapped past Penang 5-4 in the MHC-Milo-NSC-MOE National Under 14 Tournament at the Seremban Two Hockey Stadium.
And defending champions Kuala Lumpur had to come from a goal down to hold Johor to a 1-1 draw in a Group A match.
The hosts were lucky to have registered a win as Penang came from a 5-1 deficit to close the gap to 5-4 but ran out of time.
The win was Negri’s third in four matches thus far and puts them second in Group B with Perak on top with a 100 per cent record.
“My players became complacent and nearly paid the price for it. This is a good lesson not take any opponent or lead for granted. Their lackadisical atitude almost cost us three points,” said Negri coach Balbir Singh.
“Now we have to get full points from our remaining two matches against Sabah and Terengganu. And we just cannot afford to drop points as Terengganu and Penang are in with a chance as well should we falter.”
It was Penang who took the lead in the 5th minute through Muhd Aiman Asyraff Mansor. However Negri were on level terms three minutes later through Muhd Hilmi Hairuddin.
Goals by Mohd Yusry Shamsol (27th minute), Hilmi (30th minute) and Muhd Hameran (35th minute) gave Negri a comfortable 4-1 lead at halftime.
A penalty stroke converted by Abdul Syafiq Abdul Razak in the 38th minute further extended the lead.
But Penang hit a purple patch, scoring three goals in a nine minute spell through Muhd Azim Ilias (60th minute), Mohd Farhan Rozi (61st minute) and Muhd Safirul Sazali (69th minute) brought the islanders within a goal of forcing a draw.
However they ran out of time and Negri could consider themselves as lucky.
In another Group B clash, last year’s runner up Terengganu dropped points when they were held to a 2-2 draw by Malacca.
The east coast side took the lead in the 44th minute through Muhd Amirul Mirza Rozi only for Malacca to draw level in the 52nd minute with Adam Aiman Mamat scoring off a penalty corner.
And seven minutes later Malacca surged ahead through the efforts of Amir Wafiq Aizat Kamruddin. Muhd Shakir Izuddin Shamsuri saved the blushes for Terengganu by scoring in the 64th minute.
Kuala Lumpur had registered two wins before lining up against Johor. But they found themselves a goal down in the 38th minute as Johor’s Mohd Amirul Hanis Abdul Aziz converted a penalty corner.
Despite dominating play, the city side failed to make use of their chances and only got their equaliser in the 51st minute when Fallah Hassan Shahrom Jamil scored off a penalty corner.
In another Group A match, Pahang and Perlis played to a 2-2 draw. Pahang led through Muhd Ikmal Hafiz in the 18th minute only for Perlis to equalise in the 55th minute via Muhd Nur Hakim Bakri who converted a penalty corner.
Two minutes later Pahang took the lead for the second time in a match through Muhd Ilman Nazmi. But a goal in the final minute by Perlis by Izzwan Arif Nazaruddin made sure the points were shared.
Perlis 2 Pahang 2
Johor 1 Kuala Lumpur 1
Negri Sembilan 5 Penang 4
Perak 5 Sabah 0
Terengganu 2 Malacca 2
Fixtures: Wednesday, November 21
0800H – Selangor v Kelantan
1630 – Kuala Lumpur v Pahang
0800H – Kedah v Terengganu
1600H – Sabah v Terengganu
1800H – Malacca v Penang
P W D L F A PTS
K. Lumpur 3 2 1 0 8 3 7
Kelantan 2 1 1 0 1 0 4
Johor 3 1 1 1 8 4 4
Selangor 2 1 0 1 4 6 3
Pahang 3 0 2 1 1 7 2
Perlis 3 0 1 2 2 4 1
P W D L F A PTS
Perak 4 4 0 0 13 2 12
N. Sembilan 4 3 0 1 13 8 9
Penang 3 2 0 1 13 8 6
Terengganu 3 1 1 1 5 5 4
Malacca 3 1 1 1 5 6 4
Sabah 4 0 0 4 4 15 0
Kedah 3 0 0 3 1 10 0