TERENGGANU'S men's side notched an upset 4-3 win on penalties over defending champions Federal Territories after the match was tied at 3-3 at the end of regulation time to see the state bag both men's and women's gold medal in the Malaysia Games hockey competition yesterday.
Both sides started the match nervously but it was Terengganu who were first to threaten at the Wisma Belia Stadium in Kuantan. Driven by on-form brothers Faizal and Fitri Saari, Terengganu came close to scoring through a penalty corner in the 20th minute which saw Fitri's powerful drive barely deflected wide by FT goalkeeper Shahril Azaddin Auskarzie.
Faizal, however, opened the scoring in the 28th minute through a well-taken penalty corner and could have added to his sides tally only two minutes later when he had already beaten Shahril Azaddin, but an acute angle saw his shot sail over the crossbar.
Terengganu seemed on track for a one-sided victory when another penalty corner, awarded to the east coast side, saw Faizal slam his second goal of the match into the roof of the net in the 45th minute .
FT, however, managed to reduce the deficit three minutes later when Mohd Noor Faeez Ibrahim scored his side's first goal through a penalty corner, only for Faizal to notch his third of the game through another penalty corner in the 51st minute.
The defending champions again scored off a penalty corner, this time through Ramadhan Rosli in the 55th minute and ten minutes later found the equaliser to put the match at 3-3 when Mohd Noor Faeez again scored from a penalty corner. The match then went into extra time and subsequently forced a penalty shoot-out.
Faizal missed Terengganu's opening penalty stroke, however, and misses from FT's Ramadhan and Mohd Syamim Mohd Yusof in their last two attempts saw Mohd Zahirul Faiz Ashari score the winning penalty to seal a 4-3 win for Terengganu.
Terengganu coach Nik Rozemi Nik Mohamed said he was delighted with his players' performances which saw them win their first ever Malaysia Games gold medal in the men's competition.
"I am absolutely delighted with my boys today (yesterday) as they had played to instructions very well to help us win the title for a first time," said Nik Rozemi.
Meanwhile, Penang gained some form of consolation after barely losing to Terengganu in extra-time in the semi-finals on Saturday when they beat Johor 6-3 to clinch the bronze in the third and fourth placing playoff.
The women's final, also between FT and Terengganu, saw the latter clinch the gold for the first time in 20 years.
Terengganu emerged 1-0 victors in the match which saw Rashidah Mahmad's 18th minute goal being the only difference between the teams.
Selangor clinched the bronze medal after they beat Johor 3-2 in the playoff yesterday.
RESULTS -- Men's final: Terengganu 3 Federal Territories 3 (Terengganu win 4-3 on penalties); Bronze medal playoff: Penang 6 Johor 3;
Women's final: Terengganu 1 Federal Territories 0; Bronze medal playoff: Selangor 3 Johor 2.