Kuala Lumpur (26 March, 2017): Perak and Kuala Lumpur emerged champions in the Boys and Girls 1Mas-MSN-KPM-Milo National Under-16 2017 Hockey Tournament at the Kuala Lumpur HA Stadium today.
Affiful Najmi Mohd Masri’s 25th minute field goal was good enough for Perak, who emerged champions in 2006, 2007 and 2013, to dethrone defending champions Terengganu 1-0 in the final to claim the title for the fourth time in 11 years.
Perak’s road to success began in the preliminary round when they finished joint second in Group B with Malacca on nine points and in the second round, topped the three-team Group Y on six points.
Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur came back from two goals down to upset Sabah 4-3 in the Girls Under-16 final. It was the city girls’ maiden victory in the tournament which they deservingly celebrated after the hooter.
“It was never easy playing against an upbeat Sabah that was equally determined to win the title. They have come to the final as favourites and I am proud of the way my players turned the game around to score four goals after the early setback,” said Kuala Lumpur head coach, A. Kannagi.
“Most of my players will still be around next year but for now we will cherish this victory,” added the Kuala Lumpur Sports School hockey coach.
Sabah took the lead through Cyra Cynthia Anis via open play in the 11th minute and Inka Shafika Juani doubled the score three minutes later in similar fashion.
However, KL upped the ante less than a minute later to reduce the deficit through Nur Syaza Afiqah and Nur Suraya Athira M.Zuraimi netted the equaliser two minutes before the end of first half off a penalty corner.
Whilst Sabah dominated the first half, the third and fourth quarters went Kuala Lumpur’s way despite Cyra Cynthia’s 33rd minute strike which kept Sabah into a 3-2 lead.
KL’s perseverance was rewarded a minute after Cyra’s goal when team captain Hasya Syahida Saifuddin levelled score at 3-3 and 14-year-old Kirandeep, the tallest player in the city team, converted a penalty corner minutes before the end of the third quarter to give KL a much deserving 4-3 lead for the first time.
As the hooter sounded at the end of the fourth quarter, hugs and tears flowed as KL celebrated victory at last after a long, winding, and sometimes, treacherous journey.
Defending champions Selangor edged Johor 3-1 to finish in third while Penang outclassed Negeri Sembilan 5-0 in the fifth-sixth playoff match.
Boys Final: Perak 1 Terengganu 0
3-4th Placing: Pahang 2 Sabah 1
5-6th Placing: Malacca 2 Negeri Sembilan 0
Player of the Match (Final): Muhammad Afiq Iqbal (Perak)
Best Goalkeeper: Ahmad Zihni Baniyamin (Kelantan)
Top Scorer: Muhammad Syabil Aizam Mohd Noor (Selangor)
Best Player: Syarman Mat Tee (Terengganu)
Girls Final: Kuala Lumpur 4 Sabah
3-4th Placing: Selangor 3 Johor 1
5-6th Placing: Penang 5 Negeri Sembilan 0
Player of the Match (Final): Hasya Syahida Saifuddin
Best Player: Nor Asfarina Isahyifiqa (Sabah)
Best Goalkeeper: Siti Zalia Nasir (Kuala Lumpur)
Top Scorer: Siti Nor Arfah Mohd Nor (Penang – 12 Goals)