KUALA LUMPUR: Defending champions Pahang are set to lift their second consecutive women’s Razak Cup title when they meet Selangor in the final today.
Pahang, with nine national players, have been a cut above the rest in the competition.
They qualified for the final unbeaten and have scored 17 goals and conceded just one. Their opponents Selangor have scored 11 goals and let in five.
Can Selangor overcome the odds and win their maiden title at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium?
Selangor skipper Raja Norsharina Raja Shahbuddin believes they can.
“We are the underdogs and there is no pressure. There’s no doubt Pahang are the strongest side based on their line-up,” said the national senior team midfielder.
“We must remain cohesive, positive and play as a unit. And we have been playing well too. The pressure is certainly on them as defending champions,” she added.
Pahang reached the final following a 2-0 victory over 2016 runners-up Armed Forces while Selangor edged Kuala Lumpur 3-2 in the semis.
Unlike Pahang, who enjoyed an unbeaten run in Group A, Selangor got off their group matches with a 1-1 draw against Melaka, defeated Armed Forces 2-1 and crushed Johor 5-1 to finish top of Group B on seven points.
Selangor coach Ikmal Abdul Jabar wants his payers to produce the same kind of performance against Kuala Lumpur in the final.
“We are aware of Pahang’s strength. They are a complete side right from the goalkeeper to the forward line.
“I might make some changes and adopt a different strategy to neutralise them,” added Ikmal.
His counterpart, Benedict Arrais, said they will not take Selangor for granted.
“We respect all teams in the tournament. Selangor are a tough opposition and there is always a chance their players will rise to the ocassion since this is the final.
“Our plus point is our goal scoring and defensive play. I just hope the team will play much better than they did against Armed Forces.
“They did show some urgency but their finishing were poor,” said Arrais.