KUALA LUMPUR: Faizal Saari was the hero for Terengganu, scoring a brace in the 3-0 win over Police in the Division One final of the Razak Cup.
The forward, who was dropped from the national team because of indiscipline last year, was on target in the 41st and 52nd minutes at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Sunday. It was Terengganu’s second title, having also won it in 2012.
Sixteen-year-old Muhamad Akhimullah Anuar Esook completed the rout in the 57th minute.
It was a day to remember for Faizal as he was named the final’s man of the match. He also won the top scorer award with seven goals.
There was never any doubt that Terengganu would emerge champions from the get-go.
The east coast side were always on the offensive, but Police goalkeeper Zaidi Ibrahim was in top form to deny them from scoring in the opening two quarters.
Terengganu, however, were not to be denied in the 41st minute. They earned their first penalty corner in the 41st minute and Faizal’s powerful high flick beat Zaidi all the way.
Terengganu kept up the pressure to score two more goals in the fourth quarter. Faizal put his name on the score-sheet again with a reverse stick goal in the 52nd minute.
And Terengganu did not have to wait long for goal No. 3 with Akhimullah scoring a field goal in the 57th minute.
Terengganu coach Sarjit Singh was full of praise for his players.
“I’m very proud of my players’ dedication and discipline, especially the youngsters. They did not let the big match atmosphere rattle them.
“It was good to win our second title despite Police giving us a good fight,” said Sarjit.
Police coach Gurmit Singh said they paid the price for not utilising their goal-scoring chances.
“But I’m still proud of my players. We were Division Two winners last season and now we are the Division One runners-up. And we lost only once (to Terengganu),” said Gurmit.
Penang clinched the Division Two title after beating Perlis 3-2 in a penalty shootout. Both sides were tied at 4-4 in regulation time.
Izwan Firdaus Ahmad Tajuddin (42nd and 57th), Jiwa Mohan (30th) and Muhd Hafizhuddin Zaidi (47th) scored for Penang. Muhd Najmi Farizal Jazlan (35th and 49th), Azhad Akmal Mohd Fahmi (36th) and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (39th) were on target for Perlis.
In the women’s final, Pahang outplayed Armed Forces 4-0 to emerge champions.
Nuraini Abdul Rashid scored a brace in the 22nd and 47th minutes. Noorain Mohd Arshad (23rd) and Wan Nor Faiezah Mohd Saiuti (40th) netted the other goals.