KUALA LUMPUR: Kuala Lumpur claimed the men’s Razak Cup title for the 11th time by beating Melaka 4-2 after a penalty shootout at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil last night, while Sabah took the women’s title after edging Selangor 2-1.
The City boys coached by I Vikneswaran won the prestigious title for the 11th time since the hockey tournament’s inception in 1963.
In the final, Melaka who beat defending champion Perak in the semifinal, dominated the early proceedings and took the lead in the 13th minute through Amirullah Zainol’s field goal.
The goal failed to dampen the spirit of the City boys as Zulpidaus Mizun equalised through another field goal in the 29th minute.
Melaka once again shot into the lead in the 34th minute when Amirullah converted a penalty corner strike but Kuala Lumpur refused to buckle and equalised once again through V Sriraam’s goal in the 47th minute.
With the match deadlocked after the final whistle, the winner had to be decided via a penalty shootout, which saw Fitri Khairul Ariffin, Aslam Hanifah, Danial Asyraf Ghani and Wan Arif Faizuddin Wan Ameer Ruzman scoring their respective penalty opportunities.
Vikneswaran, when met after the match, admitted that the win came as a surprise since his team comprised mostly young and new faces.
“This is a young side and we had only targeted for three to five years to start winning titles. The boys showed a lot of determination and were well-coordinated, both in tactics and technique.
“They also showed a very high level of commitment, looking at the way they fought back when they were trailing behind their opponent,” he said.
Earlier, Perak clinched third spot after beating Pahang 3-1 in a penalty shootout.
Meanwhile, Sabah emerged victorious in the women’s Razak Cup competition after edging Selangor 2-1.
Selangor took the lead when Eliya Amanina Elias finished off a penalty corner strike in the fourth minute, but Sabah managed to equalise when Iren Hussin scored through a field goal in the 18th minute.
Spurred by the equaliser, Sabah went on the offensive and were rewarded in the 38th minute when Cyrachild Rojos scored another field goal to ensure victory, the first in Sabah’s history.
Melaka took third place after edging Kuala Lumpur 2-1 in a third-fourth playoff.