Selangor are champs

Selangor dethrone Pahang in final

Selangor did where others failed by putting the shackles on high-riding defending champions Pahang en route to a 5-2 victory in the final of the TNB-Tun Razak Cup 2017 Women’s Hockey Tournament at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium today.

Ikmal Abdul Jabar’s Selangor produced an outstanding performance to throw Pahang, led by seven current national players and favourites to lift the title once again, off balance to emerge champions and in the process took home the winning purse of RM5,000 while Pahang received RM3,000.

Among the dignitaries who watched the final was Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria, the Deputy President of the Olympic Council of Malaysia who is also the President of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) and an estimated 600 fans.

“This is totally surprising. We know Pahang is the strongest team and I did not expect this kind score. Yes, I was always confident in my players giving their best to surprise Pahang and they just went about with so much confidence,” said Selangor coach Ikmal.

“The system that we had planned for the final has a lot to do with this win. Perhaps the two quick goals in the first quarter had disrupted Pahang’s confidence,” he added.

It was Selangor who surprised the Pahang by netting the opening goal in the eighth minute through Nurain Hidayah Hasri before national team forward Fatin Shafikah Mohd Sukri extended the lead two minutes later. Both goals were scored from open play.

Rabiatul Adawiyah Mohamed, however, restored parity for Pahang who defeated Armed Forces in the inaugural 2016 final, with a field goal strike in the 16th minute as the first half ended in favour of Selangor taking a 2-1 lead.

Selangor, who took bronze medal last year, went on attacking mode in the third quarter with Fatin Shafikah once again on target for her second and Selangor’s third goal in the 32nd minute from open play. The celebration was short-lived as Pahang closed in 3-2 six minute later through Annur Amira Suziani’s field goal.

Nor Atira Mohamed Ismail, however, clipped high-flying Pahang’s wings with a 44th minute field goal that took Selangor 4-2 ahead and Fatin Shafika converted a penalty stroke in the 56th minute for her hat-trick to make it 5-2, adding to Pahang’s misery on a memorable night.

Pahang’s ignominious defeat was also a sad ending for long-time coach Benedict Arrais, who had voiced his intention to quit after the final. He has served Pahang well for 22 years.

“Congratulations to Selangor. Tonight they were simply awesome. They played a very good game and were always on top of us. They deserve this victory,” said Arrais, adding that he will not change his decision to quit.

Meanwhile, Armed Forces defeated host Kuala Lumpur 3-1 to finish in third spot in the nine-team tournament.

The 2016 runner-up went 2-0 ahead with field goals from Suzana Mohamed Nasir (17th minute) and Surizan Awang Hadi (41st minute) before Kuala Lumpur reduced the deficit from national team forward Norazlin Sumantri’s penalty corner conversion in the 45th minute.

Mimie Zulaikha Zaini scored the third goal for Armed Forces from a penalty corner in the 58th minute. For the effort, Armed Forces received RM2,000.

“We had expected a 2-1 win going by the proceeding of the game but the players kept on the charge for a third goal. Overall, I think we did a good job under the circumstances as we are without several key players who are currently undergoing military training,” said Armed Forces assistant coach Sgt Muhammad Noor Hafidz.

 

ROLL OF HONOUR:

Best Goalkeeper: Mas Huzaimah Md Aziz (Perak)

Most Outstanding Player: Nur Syafiqah Mohd Zain (Kuala Lumpur)

Most Promising Player: Siti Zulaika Hussin (Pahang)

Top Scorer:  Fatin Shafikah Mohd Sukri (Selangor) and

Nur Zatrah Aziz (Kuala Lumpur – 6 goals each)

Player of the Match (Final): Fatin Shafikah Mohd Sukri

Fair Play Award: Melaka

Special Award (Foreign participation): Indonesia