THE Malaysia Hockey League TNB Cup final turned into an eight-goal thriller as Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) and Terengganu Hockey Team ended the game at 4-4 and the title had to be decided on a shoot-out at the Tun Razak Stadium yesterday.
And in the shoot-out THT won their fourth consecutive TNB Cup with a slim 5-4 margin.
"We really had to bring out our best and it was sweet as we managed to defend one title this season purely on determination. Or hero in this and the last season was Jang (Jong Hyun) who scored 28 goals and his hat-trick in the final was worth his weight in gold," said THT coach Sarjit Singh.
KLHC coach Harun Al-Rashid said luck ran out from their side.
"We had the match in hand but were unlucky in the shoot-out. We beat them 6-5 in the Charity Shield shoot-out, but luck was not on our side this time around.
The heavy rain turned into a drizzle minutes from the start, but still, there were many fans who braved it to watch the two top teams in the country slug it out for the Overall title.
THT brought in bus-loads of fans from Terengganu, while KLHC a marching band which kept the Tun Razak Stadium terraces busy and noisy.
KLHC had already won the Charity Shield and the League titles, while THT had the Alagendra Cup in their cabinet before the match.
Anton Poul Fritz, from Germany, started the count with a well placed field attempt in the ninth minute to hand KLHC the Lead. It was his 11th goal of the season.
However, MHL top-scorer Jang Jung Hyun nailed the equaliser off his first attempt in the 12th minute to take his tally to 26 goals.
National player Razie Rahim then took centre stage in the 19th minute, with a powerful penalty corner drive to hand KLHC the lead again at 2-1.
And Anton made it 3-1 with a penalty corner deflection in the 25th minute, and it looked like THT were also going to lose their TNB Cup title this season.
But Jang narrowed the score yet again with another powerful penalty stroke drive to make it THT 2 KLHC 3 at the 35th minute.
THT were a new side in the third quarter, as they pressed for the equaliser with urgency and Jang then gave THT the lifeline they needed with his hat-trick coming in the 49th minute -- with a shoot-out looming large.
So tensed was the final, that a second penalty stroke was awarded in the match and this time it was for KLHC and Syamim Yusof flicked in for a 4-3 lead in the 53rd minute.
And the night had more drama left, as with three minutes left on the clock THT equalised off a field goal from Nicolas Enrique to take the match into shoot-out.
RESULTS -- TNB Cup final: Terengganu Hockey Team 4 Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club 4 (THT win shoot-out 5-4).