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Thursday August 28, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday August 28, 2014 MYT 1:23:03 PM
by loganath velloo
The Bard FC players in a jubilant mood after winning the FMM Penang Futsal Championship 2014 at the Safira Sports Planet in Seberang Jaya.
DEBUTANT Bard FC sprang a major surprise by upsetting defending champion First Solar B 5-2 in the final to win the 2nd Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) Penang Futsal Championship 2014 at the Safira Sports Planet in Seberang Jaya.
Mohamad Farhan was the toast of the team from the Kulim-based manufacturing company Bard Sdn Bhd, scoring a hat-trick in the entertaining final on Sunday.
First Solar were the pre-tournament favourite, and was widely tipped to defend the crown this year. However, they had to play second fiddle against the faster and fitter Bard players despite putting up a strong challenge in the final.
Shahril Azreen opened the scoring for Bard, only for Mohd Ikhwan Othman to equalise for First Solar to make it 1-1.
Amirul Amin restored Bard’s advantage before half time with a long range free kick, and Farhan made it 3-1 shortly after the teams switched ends.
First Solar reduced the deficit through Amir Tahar, but had no reply when Farhan scored two more late goals to secure the comfortable win.
“We did not take part in the inaugural FMM Penang Futsal Championship last year but were confident of bagging the title in our debut.
“I am happy and proud to score a hat-trick in the final and make a huge contribution towards my team’s success,” said the final’s three-goal hero Farhan.
Shahril added that Bard FC’s triumph justified the players’ thorough preparation for the championship.
“We started training together as a team two months ago. This team was assembled solely to compete in the FMM competition, and this was our competitive debut.
“After becoming the champion in our first attempt, we feel that this team can achieve more successes. We will not dissolve the team and will keep everyone together for our title defence next year,” he said.
Prior to the final, Bard had already scored a whopping 26 goals in five matches during the tournament. They finished as top scorers in the competition with a total of 31 goals.
Earlier in the semi-final, Bard routed Renesas 4-0 while First Solar edged Bakti Comintel Malaysia 2-1.
Bakti Comintel secured third spot after overcoming Renesas 4-1 in the playoff for the bronze medal.
A total of 48 teams from manufacturing companies in the northern region took part in the one-day championship.
The teams were divided into 16 groups of three, with the top two teams in each group progressing to the knockout rounds.
“We want to make this futsal championship an annual event in the Penang sporting calendar and plan to expand the tournament next year to accommodate 64 teams. If our plan succeeds, it will be one of the biggest annual futsal tournaments in Penang.
“Although the championship is only opened to teams from manufacturing companies, we had to turn away many teams this year as the 48 slots were already filled up. This is just the second year that we are organising this competition, but it has already become a signature annual event that many players are looking forward to compete in,” said FMM Penang Futsal Championship organising chairman Kew Chii Shiang.
The prizes to the top three finishers were given away by FMM (northern branch) vice-president See Chee Tat.
Semi-finals: First Solar B bt Bakti Comintel Malaysia 2-1, Bard FC bt Renesas 4-0
Third placing: Bakti Comintel Malaysia bt Renesas 4-1
Final: Bard FC bt First Solar B 5-2
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