PETALING JAYA: Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) know they won’t be facing the Terengganu side they beat earlier in today’s TNB Cup final at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
In the Malaysian Hockey League match, the league champions won 4-2 and many would predict another title for UniKL but their coach Megat Azrafiq Megat Termizi said it would be 50-50 as their opponents are hell-bent on revenge and will be out to spoil UniKL’s treble bid.
“It’s not just Faizal Saari who is performing, they have other supporting acts that we should watch out for. Akhimullah (Annuar Esook) and Arif (Syafie Ishak) have been brilliant since that defeat. These youngsters have lots of promise, ” said Megat.
“Whether we stick with our usual game or surprise them with something new, I cannot reveal.
“So far, we are doing well because we have great teamwork and we are open to discussion.
“In a final, you have to take the chances that come your way, be it penalty corners or field goals.”
For Terengganu, it’s all about revenge as they also lost to UniKL (1-2) in last year’s final.
But coach K. Rajan dismissed the notion, saying he just wants Terengganu to win one trophy.
“We don’t want them to have it all. The defeat in the league woke us up. After that, we got better and better and I believe we are now at our peak.
“It will be a fierce battle as my boys will give their all. And there will be a face-off between two of the country’s best penalty corner hitters, ” added Rajan.
“They have Razie (Rahim) and we have Faizal (Saari), both can be game winners.”
Meanwhile, the skippers – Marhan Jalil (UniKL) and Faizal (Terengganu) – want their boys to stay positive and let their hockey do the work.
“There should not be any pressure. I want them to go out there and enjoy the game. We have worked hard to come this far and we should not allow pressure to dictate what we do, ” said Marhan.
Faizal said that even if they make mistakes, they must remain positive.
“The semis win was a boost, but UniKL are a different team that have dominated the scene in the last three years. We have to study them well to win, ” he said.
“As captain, I always make sure the boys hold their heads up. Even if they make a mistake, they must not lose hope. They must keep on giving their best. Hopefully, we can end the season with a Cup.”