X-MATRIX’S Muhamad Roni Risman was in his element during the penalty shoot-out in the Selangor Hockey League Division Two final at the Ministry of Education Hockey Stadium in Jalan Pantai, Kuala Lumpur recently.
In the final against Synergy Hockey Club, Muhamad Roni — a field player — took over from goalkeeper Mohd Husiani Muhmud during the shoot-out. The match had ended 3-3, thus forcing a shoot-out to decide the champions. In the shoot-out, X-Matrix clinched the Division Two title with a 3-1 win and earned promotion to Division One.
X-Matrix’s goals during the shootout came from Muhamad Izhar Shamsudin, Mohamad Aidil Abdullah and Mohd Hafizi Baharom while V. Sathesan found the target for Synergy Hockey Club.
It was indeed an inspiring win for X-Matrix as they had come from two goals down to end the regulation time at 3-3. Synergy Hockey Club, comprising a group of seasoned players, started the match on an aggressive note and scored through Sathesan and Louis Gregory in the fifth and 25th minutes respectively.
However X-Matrix, represented by a group of former Matriculation students, were back in the game when Synergy Hockey Club goalkeeper Harbhajan Singh deflected a harmless cross into goal in the 35th minute.
The second half resumed with X-Matrix gaining advantage with their fast attacking game and they were rewarded with goals from Muhammad Syakir Amir and Muhamad Roni in the 40th and 57th minutes respectively. However, Synergy Hockey Club scored in the 68th minute through Louis to make it 3-3.
Muhamad Roni, for his impressive display, was named as the Best Goalkeeper while the Man of the Match (final) award went to Synergy Hockey Club’s Louis.
X-Matrix team manager Mohamad Fared Malek said they were confident of winning the crown.
“We had faith in the players as we never gave up. Despite trailing 0-2, the players came back strongly and scored the goals. In fact we had expected a penalty shoot and had prepared Muhamad Roni for the task. He played exceptionally well and won us the title,’’ said Mohamad Fared.
Synergy Hockey Club’s K. Periasamy, at 56, the oldest player on the pitch, said it was an exciting match.
“But X-Matrix are the better side and they are young. That gave them the edge but we had an enjoyable game,’’ said Periasamy.
X-Matrix, as the Division Two champions, received RM800 and other prizes from the sponsors while Synergy Hockey Club took home RM700.
Selangor Sikh Association finished third after a 9-4 win over SMK USJ23. Selangor Sikh Association received RM500 and SMK USJ23 received RM400.
The league, organised by the Selangor Hockey Association, had two divisions. In Division One, there were seven teams. After the round robin fixtures, unbeaten UiTM emerged as the champions with 18 points from six wins. The second spot went to KJLJD with 13 points from four wins, a draw and a loss while RAMD, with three wins, two draws and a loss, were third on 11 points.
UiTM, as the champions, pocketed RM2,000 while KJLJD and RAMD received RM1,500 and RM750 respectively.
Selangor Hockey Association secretary T. Kuganesan said a total of 20 teams took part in the league.
“The season was a big success as we did not have a turf in Selangor. We are grateful to all those who have supported and helped us in the organisation of the league,’’ said Kuganesan.
During the prize-giving ceremong, the Selangor Hockey Association also rewarded the Selangor Under-21 squad with RM5,000, a personal contribution from Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal, the president of Selangor Hockey Association.
Kuganesan said they would be working towards starting the new season next month.
Selangor Hockey League 2014
Roll of Honour
Special Award: Selangor Under-21 squad and Selangor Razak Cup squad
Man of Match (final): Louis Gregory (synergy Hockey Club)
Best Goalkeeper: Muhamad Roni Risman (X-Matrix)
Fourth: Selangor Sikh Association
Third:SMK USJ 23
Runners-up: Synergy Hockey Club