STAR-STUDDED Royal Selangor Club (RSC) stole the show at the Ulu Klang Recreation Club (UKRC) Astro International Soccer Nines at the UKRC ground on Sunday.
Making a return to the championship after a two-year lapse, RSC had the likes of K. Gunalan, Reman Regunathan and A. Jayakanthan in their line-up and, as expected, became the champions. In the final, RSC edged Penang Sports Club (PSC) 1-0 with the only goal coming from Devan Nair.
To make it a fine outing, RSC goalkeeper R. Chandran was adjudged the best goalkeeper and received the Ong Yu Tiang memorial trophy. PSC’s Thong Chee Eng was the top scorer with five goals.
In the Losers Pool, the champions were Malacca Club, who edged Korea FC 2-1 on penalty kicks. Malacca Club also won the Fairplay Trophy.
Residents showed their support for the championship by coming in full force to watch the matches.
Tony Wong said it was a delight to watch the former internationals showing their skills.
“It was good to see players like Karim Pin and Azizul Abu Hanifah playing in the competition. They had slowed down but their skills were still there,” said Wong.
Gunalan said the competition was an ideal opportunity for him to meet up with his old foes and friends.
“It was good to play alongside my former Selangor teammates. It is after a long time that I am meeting some of them,” said Gunalan.
Coca-Cola Far East director of public affairs and communications Mohamed Kadri Mohamed Taib said the organisers should look into inviting more foreign teams in the coming years.
“I enjoyed watching the final. It was entertaining and though most of the players are in their 40s, they did not show it. Maybe the organisers can invite teams from the Philippines and other South-East Asian countries,” said Mohamed Kadri.
This year’s competition, organised for the sixth year, attracted 12 teams, including three foreign teams - one from Thailand and two from Singapore.
UKRC president Andrew Gopal said they were receptive to Mohamed Kadri’s suggestion.
“We had invited teams from the Philippines but they were unable to come due to some problems. But we will certainly look into the matter next year.” said Gopal.
Astro, Coca-Cola, Line-7, Ho Hup Construction, Mei Keng Fatt Seafood Restaurant and NUFA Advertising were the sponsors of the two-day competition.
Linda Ong, widow of the late Ong Yu Tiang, gave away the best goalkeeper award.