KUALA Lumpur slammed the door shut on defending champions Perak with a late penalty stoke to win 3-2 in the National Under-16 hockey tournament in Alor Star yes terday.
And the City-lads will meet Singapore, who beat Penang 3- 2 in a three-minute blitz in the other semi-finals, for the national crown today.
Perak took an early lead when Firdaus Sidek scored a penalty corner goal in the third minute, and Kuala Lumpur looked like they were in for a hiding.
But R. Ramesh drew his team back into contention with an 18th minute field goal, only to see Perak take the lead again in the 20th minute off an Azrul Fazrin field goal.
Ramesh again gave Kuala Lumpur a life-line with a 23rd minute field goal, and the 2-2 score stood into the breather.
Both the teams played more cautiously in the second half, and the KL winner was finally nailed by Syamim Yusof when they received a penalty stroke in the 65th minute.
Penang were leading 2-0 by the 58th minute, with goals from Rashid Baharom (23rd) and Arif Rahman (58th), but they fumbled in the last four minutes of the match.
Singapore went on the attack after being spurred by Baqir Asali’s 66th minute penalty corner rebound goal. And the equaliser came in the 67th off Mohamed Azhari’s direct penalty corner hit, while the winner was scored in the 69th minute by Silas Razak off a field attempt.
"It will not be easy, but I believe the team which wants to win, will achieve it, like we did it today. We were down by two goals, but a concerted push in the last four minutes took us into the final," said Singapore etam manager Ian Ng when asked about playing KL in the final.
Both the teams are from Group C, and in the pool encounter, KL beat Singapore 4-2.
RESULTS -- Semi-finals: Perak 2 Kuala Lumpur 3; Sin gapore 3 Penang 2; Fifth-Eighth: Johor 3 Selangor 1, Kelantan 4 Terengganu 2.
TODAY -- Final: Kuala Lumpur v Singapore (5pm); Third- Fourth: Perak v Penang (3pm); Fifth-Sixth: Kelantan v Johor; Seventh-Eighth: Terengganu v Selangor.