Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Perak's 21-yer wait is over

The Perak team celebrate after winning the 51st edition of the Razak Cup after beating Kuala Lumpur 3-0 in the final in Kuantan yesterday. Pic by Luqman Hakim Zubir

 PERAK won the Razak Cup after 21 years at Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium in Kuantan yesterday.
    Led by international Azlan Misron, Perak notched their seventh Cup title by overcoming favourites Kuala Lumpur 3-0 in the final.
    KL, despite dominating play, were toothless in attack and failed to convert five penalty corner set-pieces in the absence of international Razie Rahim and Amin Rahim.
   Muhd Najib Abu Hassan netted the opening goal in the 12th minute before international Hafifi Hafiz Hanafi added a second off a penalty corner set-piece in the 54th.
  A desperate KL attacked in numbers late in the second half and paid dearly for leaving their back-line unattended. Mohd Noor Khairul Azrain made it three for Perak five minutes from time.
   Perak coach Kulwant Singh said his team played their hearts out to bring back the trophy to the state after 21 years.
   "My team, comprising a mix of seniors and juniors, played to instructions. Frankly, we did not have centralised training as some players were with the national team for the Asia Cup," said Kulwant yesterday.
   KL coach K. Rajan said his team did everything right except score.
   "We also did not have a flicker for penalty corners. We should not have conceded the first goal and the move to attack in the second half failed to pay off," said Rajan.
    Former champions Malacca recorded a comprehensive 4-1 win over Negri Sembilan for third place.
    In the Division Two final, former international Muhd Noor Faez Ibrahim led Selangor to an impressive 3-1 win over Armed Forces to earn promotion to the main tier division next season.
  Faridzul Afiq Mohd (10th) and Muhd Amerullah Aziz (34th) gave Selangor a 2-0 lead at half-time before Noor Faez added a third 10 minutes before the final hooter. It was Noor Faez's 11th goal in the competition.
   Tuan Abdul Walid Tuan Aziz replied for Forces off a penalty corner set-piece in the 46th minute.
   "We have finally made it to Division One after five years. Everyone played to instructions," said Selangor coach S. Sivabalan.
   ROLL OF HONOUR -- Division One: 1 Perak, 2 Kuala Lumpur, 3 Malacca, 4 Negri Sembilan.
   Fairplay: Penang; Most Valuable Player: Muhd Shukri Abdul Mutalib (Per); Best Player of Final: Hafifi Hafiz Hanafi (Per); Top scorers: Mohd Nor Hafiq Abdul Ghaffar (Joh), Ahmad Kazamirul Nasaruddin (Pah), Izwan Firdaus Tajuddin (Pen) -- seven goals
   Division Two: 1 Selangor, 2 Armed Forces, 3 Police, 4 Perlis.
   Fairplay: Armed Forces; Most Valuable Player: Kevinder Singh (Police); Best goalkeeper: Adriel Ang (Sab); Best of Final: Saiful Azhar Mohd Affandi (Sel); Top scorer: Muhd Noor Faeez Ibrahim (Sel) -- 11 goals.