AFTER months of matches nationwide, Mozai FT were crowned champions in the inaugural Raja Futsal (Kings of Futsal) grand finale.
The competition winners from Pahang bagged the eye-opening RM100,000 cash prize, the largest sum offered for a Malaysian futsal competition to-date, after a decisive 3-1 win over runners-up TJJ FC.
Mozai FT team manager Mohd Izhar Hifni Mohd Zailani said the team, comprising working adults from Kuantan, faced many obstacles on their way to the finals, but were fortunate to have won.
“The teams we faced to reach the finals were really strong and the matches were intense but the players are the real stars of the team. They fought tooth and nail for it.
“It was a tough final against TJJ FC even though they had a depleted squad owing to injuries.
“We are all overwhelmed and at the same time shocked by our win.
“We have never won a big tournament before and never thought we would win this one,” he said.
Helmi Mahyuddin Iskandar, who scored all three goals for Mozai, also picked up the award for best player alongside his teammate and goalkeeper Khaizal Asyraf Suhaimi.
Runners-up TJJ FC from Kuala Lumpur picked up RM25,000 after finishing second and scored their only goal through Mohamad Izzuddin Mohd Roslan during the final at the Panasonic National Sports Complex in Shah Alam.
Team assistant coach Mohd Fazrizal Ishak said the team’s overall performance in the tournament was affected because a player suffered a broken finger while another was unable to play due to family commitments.
“Our mistake was not having enough reserve players, but based on the player’s performance and their ability to create goals, I believe that they can go much further in the future,” he said.
“They were able to hold their own against much more experienced and older players from the best teams in the country even though they are aged only 18 to 21,” he said.
Joint third placed teams Bertam Ulu and Jerro Tornado each took home RM2,500 in cash.
The grand finale organised by Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd with its partners Vivo, Great Eastern Life Malaysia, Etika, Puma and Era was the culmination of the competition which kicked off in July, with the best 32 teams comprising the best of the best from each of the 14 states and territories out of some 860 participating teams.
The one-day event was bolstered by a carnival-like atmosphere from sunrise to sunset thanks to the numerous activities – including coaching clinics by football personalities Safee Sali and celebrities Normala Yusoff and Siti Suhaila– which kept the 3,000-odd visitors entertained and busy.
Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd chief marketing officer Loh Keh Jiat with Vivo Technologies Sdn Bhd key account manager Alan Bong, Great Eastern Life Malaysia chief executive Datuk Koh Yaw Hui, Etika Beverages Sdn Bhd marketing vice-president Santharuban Thurai Sundaram, Puma Malaysia representative Benjamin Lim and Era content manager Dhan Andreas were on hand to present the grand prize to the winning teams at the grand finale.
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