Led by former national goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin as the coach for the first time, the team were unstoppable in the final as they beat Terengganu 4-2 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Mohd Haziq Shamsul was the hero for the team when he scored a hattrick (29th minute, 32nd and 46th) after Azrai Aizad Abu Kamal got the ball rolling by scoring the first goal in the 16th minute.
But it was Terengganu who drew first blood as early as the first minute when Faizal Saari thumped in a brilliant penalty corner to give his side the lead.
Undeterred, Perak upped the tempo and they were duly rewarded.
Striker Azrai scored the first goal for Perak in the 16th minute when he received a brilliant pass from veteran striker Hafifihafiz Hanafi.
Perak kept on pressuring Terengganu and their dogged determination paid off when they took the lead in the dying stages of the second quarter.
This time, Azrai turned provider when he made a cheeky pass to Haziq, and the player obliged by unleashing a ferocious shot past Terengganu goalkeeper Zaimi Mat Deris.
In the third quarter, Haziq struck again when he capitalised on a defensive mistake in the 32nd minute.
He completed his hattrick in the 46th minute after converting another pass from Azrai.
Terengganu tried to mount a fightback in the fourth quarter and got their second goal through Faizal again in the 58th minute, but Perak proved too strong as they held on to their win.
This is the third time that Perak have defeated Terengganu in the final.
In 2017, Perak edged Terengganu 3-2 and denied them again in 2018 through a penalty shootout after the final ended 2-2 in regulation time.
Roslan was proud of his team’s success.
“We’ve a bunch of young players led by Azrai, who did well today. I appreciate their contribution,” said Roslan.
“Azrai was exceptional, he gave his 100%. We are truly happy.”
In the women’s event, Pahang beat favourites and defending champions Selangor 2-1 in the final.