Terengganu too good for Negri


BY S. RAMAGURU

KUANTAN: Terengganu stamped their class to beat Negri Sembilan 4-2 in the final of the inaugural MHF-Milo-NSC Under-16 hockey tournament at the Kuantan Hockey Stadium here yesterday. 

Negri were expected to take the fight to the east coast side and even took the lead in the 41st minute.  

But in a four-minute spell from the 43rd minute, Terengganu crushed Negri’s hopes with some clinical finishing. 

Terengganu were the champions last year in the now defunct national Under-15 tournament. 

Negri started off well, taking control of the match and had the better chances to score. Their early domination earned them a penalty corner in the 15th minute but skipper Razlee Amree’s flick failed to find the target. 

Negri had three other chances to score in the first half but Mohamed Asraf and Syamsul Arif fumbled with their shots when they had only goalkeeper Mohamed Asmawi to beat. 

In the 41st minute, Negri struck. Mohamed Syafiq dribbled the ball on the right and sent in a cross. S. Vimalan missed the connection but Syamsul Arif collected the ball to slam it into goal. 

However, Negri’s joy was short-lived. In the 43rd minute, Mohamed Najib Ibrahim ran past the entire Negri defence to deflect in the equaliser. 

And two minutes later, Ahmad Afiq Naquiddin gave them the lead with a field goal. 

Terengganu were not finished yet. In the 47th minute, Shahrin Mohamed sealed Negri’s fate with another field goal. And Tuan Abdul Walid Tuan Aziz knocked in the fourth goal for Terengganu in the 53rd minute. 

Negri tried hard to get back into the game and Mohamed Syafiq gave them hope with a field goal in the 56th minute. But Terengganu maintained control and trooped out as the deserving winners. 

Penang took third place, beating Kelantan 3-2 with a golden goal after full-time produced a 2-2 draw. 

Asrul Azrin scored the winning goal in the 76th from a penalty corner set-piece. 

In regulation time, Penang had to wait until the last minute to secure the equaliser. 

Azim Muzakkir and Mohamed Firdaus had given Kelantan the lead twice in the fifth and 50th minutes. But Penang clawed back with goals by Izwan Firdaus in the 34th minute and Mohamed Izzat in the 70th minute. 

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