Perak defended the TNB Tun Abdul Razak Cup title for the second year in a row after beating Pahang 2-1 in the final of the 59th TNB Tun Abdul Razak Cup (Men) Hockey Championship at the Bukit Jalil National Hockey Stadium.
Saiful Sharil Saiful Bahri was the backbone of Perak’s success when he scored the winning goal for Perak after being tied 1-1 in the second half.
The victory melted Pahang’s hopes of realizing the first championship even though it had played three times in the final stage (2011, 2012, 2014).
Perak, who set aside the challenge of last year’s runner -up Terengganu in the semi -final yesterday, came down with a strong reputation as a 10 -time champion apart from appearing in the final six times in the last 10 years.
Muhammad Akram Hakkam Jamaluddin’s early goal in the first quarter gave Perak the edge to strengthen its position and strategize more effectively.
The first two quarters saw Perak pushing harder but Pahang managed to absorb all the pressure, especially through the attacking movement from the middle.
The second half game was balanced with both teams playing with high intensity to break through the opposing defense.
Team captain Ismail Abu finally found the touch to produce an equalizer for Pahang in the 37th minute, making the rhythm of the game more lively and open. It was the 37 -year -old’s fourth personal goal.
However, Perak came back in front when Saiful Sharil Saiful Bahari did not waste the opportunity of a penalty corner shot in the 44th minute to score Pahang’s goal. The position does not change until the finishing whistle is blown.
“Alhamdulillah, we managed to win the championship and praise to all the players who died tonight. It was our strategy to find the first goal and it worked.
Overall, I am satisfied with the performance of the players. Without senior players, we are successful with a line-up of young players and this shows that Perak does not have a shortage of hockey talent, ”said coach Abdul Sukur Adam.