DEFENDING champions Federal Territories marched into the men's hockey final with a convincing 3-0 win over Kelantan at the Gong Badak Sports Complex yesterday.
They will take on Johor today in the battle for the gold medal. Johor needed penalty shoot-out to beat Penang 4-2 in the other semi-final after both teams were tied 1-1.
Two goals in the first half by Mohd Faisal Kamaruddin (13th) and skipper Mohd Razie Rahim (26th) allowed FT to ease up in the match played in blistering heat.
With Kelantan forced to move forward in huge numbers, Nabil Fiqri managed to make a solo breakaway in the 54th minute and fed an unmarked Hafiz Zakaria to make it 3-0.
Despite the comfortable scoreline, FT had goalkeeper Abdul Hakim Adnan to thank for keeping a clean sheet.
“We had the luxury to ease up after scoring two goals in the first half. We were not prepared to take the risk of being worn out before the end as the match was played in extremely hot conditions,” said FT coach Muhammad Dharmaraj.
Johor needed just two minutes to surge ahead through Hang Edzharsyah in the other semi-final. But Penang found their breakthrough in the 54th minute and equalised through Mohd Jamil Saidin. Extra time failed to resolve the deadlock.
In the shoot-out, Hafiq Ghaffar, Edzharsyah, Shaheeb Shah and Azammi Adabi all scored from Johor's first four flicks.
Penang scored through Izwan Firdaus and Craig Fernandez but their second and fourth penalty takers Mohd Izzat Rahim and Khairil Anuar failed to convert, handing Johor the ticket to the final.