Perak regained the boys’ crown at the MHC-Milo Under-16 hockey championships after edging defending champions Terengganu 1-0 in the final at the KL Hockey Stadium.
It was Perak’s fourth title, having emerged champions in 2006, 2007 and 2013.
Affiful Najmi Mohd Masri was Perak’s hero, scoring a field goal after a fast counter attack in the 25th minute. Although Terengganu went all out in search of the equaliser, Perak held on to emerge champions.
Perak team manager Kulwan Singh said they used the right strategy to win the match.
“We knew that Terengganu were fast. If given the space they would be a danger to us. So we made sure that our players marked out their forwards. And we relied on counter-attacks to score.
“One such attack paid off for us. After that, we played a patient game. Credit to the players for holding out and taking the match. We are happy to regain the title after a three-year lapse,” said Kulwan.
In the girls’ category, Kuala Lumpur emerged champions for the second time when they overcame a two-goal deficit to beat Sabah 4-3. The city side were the inaugural champions in 2008.
Bidding to win the title for the first time, Sabah were all over KL and were 2-0 up after 14 minutes.
Cyra Cynthia Anis scored a field goal in the 11th minute and Inka Shafika Juani added the second – also a field goal – in the 14th minute.
But KL immediately hit back with Nur Syaza Afiqah reducing the deficit in the 15th minute with a field goal. Nur Suraya Athira Zuraimi then fired in a penalty corner goal in the 28th minute for the equaliser.
Cyra was again on target in the 33rd minute for Sabah to regain the lead. But the joy was shotlived as a minute later Hasya Syahida Saifuddin put KL back on level terms.
Midfielder Kirandeep Kaur was then rewarded for her tireless runs. She scored the winning goal in the 45th minute, much to the delight of the KL contingent.
Said KL coach A. Kanagi: “I’m glad our players did not allow the two-goal deficit to affect them. They followed the game plan and thoroughly deserved the win.”
Final: Perak 1 Terengganu 0.
Third placing: Pahang 2 Sabah 1.
Fifth placing: Malacca 2 Negri Sembilan 0.
Final: Sabah 3 Kuala Lumpur 4.
Third placing: Johor 1 Selangor 3.
Fifth placing: Negri Sembilan 0 Penang 5.
– Courtesy of The Star