Pahang veterans outshine Terengganu youths in Group A opener

That’s mine: Pahang’s Wan Nor Faiezah Md Saiuti (left) vying for the ball with Terengganu’s Wan Nur Syafiqah during the Razak Cup Group A match at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium yesterday. — Azhar Arif/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Experience certainly trumps youth as defending champions Pahang defeated Terengganu 4-0 in the opening match of the women’s Razak Cup hockey tournament at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium.

With six national players in the team – defender Siti Noor Amarina Ruhani and midfielders Wan Norfaiezah Saiuti, Nuraini Rashid, Rabiatul Adawiyah Mohamed, Siti Zaidah, Nadia Abdul Rahman – and national junior goalkeeper Priyangga Jayaraj – in the fray, it was obvious that Pahang had too much firepower compared to the Malaysia Games (Sukma) side put up by Terengganu.

Drag-flick specialist Nuraini Rashid started the goal rush with a penalty corner conversion in the eighth minute and a Nor Sailah Kerami’s field goal in the 15th minute.

Pahang then went 4-0 up in the second quarter, courtesy of two more goals by Nadia Abdul Rahman (17th, pen) and Wan Nor Faiezah Mohd Saiuti (27th).

Pahang then took their foot off the pedal by giving their younger players a run out.

Pahang coach Benadict Arais, however, lamented the numerous missed chances in the second half.

“My main concern was to give the youngsters some much-needed exposure. But I have to admit that our finishing was very poor.

“Since this is our first game, I think we can do better in the coming matches.

“I want to see our juniors playing getting more play time in this competition as we prepare for next year’s Sukma in Perak,” he said.

Terengganu felt that the experience gained by their youthful side was useful as they prepare for the Perak Sukma.

“Overall, we did well against an experienced side like Pahang. We managed to keep the score respectable. We had moments in the game when should have scored. I’m sure the players will benefit from a game like this,” said Terengganu coach Mohamed Harun Al-Rashid.

In the other Group A match, Kuala Lumpur downed Perak 6-2.

In the opening Group B match, Armed Forces edged Johor 1-0, courtesy of national player Juliani Mohamed Din’s penalty corner goal in the 28th minute.

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