PERAK STRUGGLE TO GET PAST MALACCA

Defending champions Perak edged Malacca 2-1 to win their second consecutive match in the TNB 53rd Tun Abdul Razak Cup Division One Tournament at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil today.

Forward Hafifi Hafiz shot the silver state ahead with a 22nd minute penalty corner and Fitri Ismail made it 2-0 via a field goal one minute later.

Malacca, dubbed ‘The Hurricanes’ for their famous hard-fought 5-4 victory over Terengganu on Monday, were far less ferocious today but made steady progress to contain Perak’s marauding attack and in the process scored a 34th minute penalty corner via Amirullah Zainal.

The next two quarters were evenly contested with near misses from both sides. Perak defeated Penang 7-3 in Monday’s opening matches.

Faizal Saari’s Terengganu bounced back from Monday’s agonising defeat against Malacca to humble Penang 10-2. Faizal scooped six goals while Muhamad Firhan, Nik Aiman Saberi, Fitri Saari and Engku Abd Malek scored a piece. Mohamed Rahimi and Jiwa Mohan replied for Penang.

Favourites Police were given an early scare before coming back from the brink of defeat to turn the tables on Selangor following a 3-2 win in their Division Two match today.

Mohd Razali Zulkipli had given the Cops a 10th minute lead via a field goal but a Mohd Amerullah Abdul Aziz 49th minute penalty stroke and Muhammad Noor Faez Ibrahim penalty corner just one minute later had the favourites against the wall.

However, a burst of two goals in a space of 10 minutes saw Police creeping back into the game. Azreen Rizal Nasir equalised in the 54th minute and drag-flick specialist Baljit Singh found the winning goal six minutes later.

Police go top of the table standings with 10 points followed by Armed Forces on seven. Forces and Kelantan closed the gap at the top of the table standings by defeating Sarawak 5-3 and Perlis 3-2 respectively.

The soldiers have amassed seven points now – three behind Police in the table standings while Kelantan, Selangor and Perlis are tied on six points.

Hanip Che Halim started Forces goal rush with a 5th minute field goal and added his second and third goals in the 11th and 42nd minutes in similar fashion before Tuan Abdul Walid sliced through the East Malaysian state misery with a 40th minute field goal.

Sarawak replied through Michael Xavier (41st, FG) and a brace from Rhohan Utok (52nd 56th). It was Sarawak’s third consecutive defeat in the tournament.

Mohd Aminuddin pounced on a loose ball to score two minutes into the game – the fastest goal scored in the 53rd edition of the Razak Cup, and Syabrie Shamsuddinin made it 2-0 from open play in the sixth minute for Kelantan as Perlis struggled to keep pace with their east coast opponents.

It was only in the 37th minute that Perlis earned a penalty scorner and Najmi Farizal was spot on to close the gap 2-1. Kelantan, however, increased the lead seven minutes later through Shahrul Anuar off a field goal to go 3-1 up.

But a resilient Perlis gave all they had and were rewarded with a Azroy Azeman 53rd minute field goal. That was as far as Perlis could go.

Results – Division 1 Group A: Perak 2 Malacca 1; Terengganu 10 Penang 2.
Division 2: Kelantan 3 Perlis 2; Armed Forces 5 Sarawak 3; Police 3 Selangor 2.

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