A hard fought battle won: Team PBNP celebrate after their 2-1 victory over KBP8 in the Piala Mamee 1Malaysia final.
Persatuan Belia Negeri Pahang (PBNP) players were relieved when the referee blew his whistle to mark the end of the Kejohanan Bolasepak Piala Mamee 1Malaysia final at Inspen Stadium in Kajang.
Both teams got off to a good start and KBP8 scored the first goal, thanks to Muhammad Afzal Nazri.
But before half-time, PBNP were back in the hunt for the title after Wan Muhammad Hazlin Wan Din struck from long range to level the score.
The winning goal was courtesy of Mohd Shafiz Zariah during the second half and from then on PBNP strategically defended their lead to lift the trophy.
PBNP team captain Muhammad Ashar Abdullah was understandably pleased with the team’s performance and praised their opponents for putting on a good game for the fans.
“Both teams played well and perhaps it was down to luck in the end, as they had many shots on target,” he said.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, who was guest of honour at the event, presented the medals and mock cheques for RM15,000 and RM7,500 to PBNP and KBP8, respectively.
Former Manchester United left-back-cum-midfielder Quinton Fortune and Manchester United Foundation CEO John Sheils were also present at the event for a meet-and-greet session with the fans.
Quinton, who earlier in the day played in an exhibition match that ended in a 1-1 draw, teamed up with former national footballers led by A. Elanggoven against Mymanutd FC, an offshoot of the Manchester United’s official Malaysian fan club.
Fans of the club were thrilled to get autographs and have their photos taken with a “big-name” player who was with the English team from 1999-2006.
Brothers Vinoth Murali, 11, and Pravin Murali, 14, were glad they made the trip with their mother Shanthi Marappan, to meet
their first Manchester United player and were part of the many fans who turned up for the event.
Manchester United Supporters Club Malaysia president Hairul Nazmey Salleh said Quinton was the 18th Manchester United player he had met.
Nevertheless, his eyes were gleaming with satisfaction after he shook hands and managed to get the former legend’s autograph on a specially prepared certificate.
Co-organised by Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia and Mamee-Double Decker Malaysia with Manchester United, the tournament brought together more than 1,400 under-19 budding footballers and was divided into five regions across Malaysia.