Thursday, July 28, 2011

KL champions for 19th time

A LETHAL combination from Kelvinder Singh and Nabil Fiqri handed Kuala Lumpur their 19th Razak Cup title when they edged a fighting Pahang 1-0 at the Bukit Serindit Stadium in Malacca yesterday.
KL were lost in the wilderness during regulation play as they failed to break a stout Pahang defense, and the match went into extra-time.
Pahang, who had yet to lift the title after 49 editions, were deadly off Ismail Abu counter-attacks during the first seven minutes of sudden-death play.
However, KL gained control of attack in the next half as Kelvinder Singh came back onto the pitch after taking a breather.
Kelvinder’s first pass to Nabil in the 80th minute went to waste as the latter failed to connect home.
However, a second reverse stick attempt from Kelvinder 82nd minute found Nabil facing an open goal-mouth and he had the easiest task of tapping the ball in end KL’s misery.
“It was our toughest match of the tournament but still, I’m proud of my players who kept their composure and never stopped playing hockey until they nailed the winner,” said KL coach I. Vickneswaran.
Meanwhile, Negri Sembilan were crowned Division Two champions when they edged Selangor 1-0.
The solitary goal by Azraie Azizan, off a penalty corner attempt in the 48th minute, was enough to promote Negri into Division One next year.
“Selangor are a good team and they have speedy forwards. We knew we had to stop them especially down the middle if we are to have a chance.
“And it worked. I am happy for players. We have worked very hard in the entire tournament to emerge champion.
“In doing so we prove that being in the second division doesn’t mean we have to give up hope. We fought all the way through and today's win is ample reward,” said coach Negri coach S. Chandran.
RESULTS -- Div 1, Final: Kuala Lumpur 1 Pahang 0; 3rd- 4th: Armed Forces 3 Terengganu 4.
Div 2, Final: Negri Sembilan 1 Selangor 0; 3rd-4th: Perlis 0 Kedah 3.

Pahang in KL's path to glory

NATIONAL No 1 penalty corner flicker Amin Rahim blew a penalty stroke, but then delivered the winning goal to take defending champions Kuala Lumpur into the Razak Cup final at the Bukit Serindit Stadium in Malacca yesterday.
KL will now play Pahang, who beat Armed Forces 3-1 in the other semi-final, to decide who is crowned the 49th champion.
KL received a penalty stroke in the 28th minute when Terengganu were leading 1-0 off a Faisal Saari penalty corner in the 26th minute.
But Amin's weak attempt was saved by Terengganu goalkeeper Mohamed Hafizuddin.
However, the defending champions kept pressing and drew level in the 32nd minute through Nabil Fiqri, who broke free on the right and sent home a reverse stick attempt into goal.
Amin then made up for his penalty stroke blunder by converting a penalty corner in the 57th minute.
"I salute Terengganu as they made us work hard to play in the final. But we missed a handful of early sitters which made matters difficult," said KL coach I. Vickneswaran.
For Terengganu it was the end of a super tournament. "There is no shame in losing to the defending champions. We will now have to work harder for the bronze," said Terengganu team manager Saberi Salleh.
In Division Two, Selangor will play Negri Sembilan for the title, after they beat Kedah 3-1 and Perlis 3-2 respectively.
RESULTS -- S-finals, Div 1: Pahang 3 Armed Forces 1, Kuala Lumpur 2 Terengganu 1; 5th-6th: Perak 11 Penang 3; 7th-8th: Malacca 2 Johor 3.
Div 2: Negri Sembilan 3 Perlis 2, Selangor 3 Kedah 1; 5th-6th: Sabah 6 Kelantan 1; 7th-8th: Project 2017 1 Sarawak 0.
TODAY -- Div 1, Final: Kuala Lumpur v Pahang (6pm, Picth I); 3rd-4th: Armed Forces v Terengganu (5pm, Pitch II).
Div 2, Final: Negri Sembilan v Selangor (4pm, Pitch I); 3d-4th: Perlis v Kedah (3pm, Pitch II).