Negri Sembilan striker Hairuddin Omar described his spectacular scissor-kick goal as the best ever.
The 32-year-old football nomad said it happened so fast and he had react instinctively to go acrobatic to connect the low cross from skipper Mohd Shukor Adan for Negri’s winning goal against Terengganu (2-1) in the Malaysia Cup final at the Shah Alam Stadium last night.
“It is the best goal ever and I have scored in the previous two finals, too. But nothing beats this fantastic strike in front of the 80,000 fans,” said Hairuddin.
Hairuddin holds the distinction of having won three Malaysia Cup winners medal since 2009.
He won it with Negri in their 3-1 win over Kelantan (2009). The following year he featured for Kelantan and scored in their 2-1 win against Negri.
“I can still score goals and as along as my legs don’t give way, I will continue to do what I do best,” said Hairuddin, who has nine goals in the Malaysia Cup competition.
Hairuddin said his persistence paid off.
“I was frustarted after Terengganu clamped down on me throughout the match. They were breathing down my neck and I could not get my act right. But I knew it will just take a moment of brilliance to score. And it came four minutes from time,” said Hairuddin.
Negri coach Mohd Azraai Khor Abdullah was full of praise for his seasoned hands – Idris Karim, 35, Hairuddin, 32 while Norhafiz Zamani Misbah, Mohd Shukor Adan, Irwan Fadli Idrus are all in the 30’s.
“They are my wise men and they have proved that with proper training and a little bit of sports science assistance they are still worth the money,” said Azraai, who celebrated his 59th birthday on Tuesday.
“It is wonderful birthday gift and I am happy for the whole Negri team. We had our ups and downs due to injury problems but in the end we proved that we are still champion material,”.
Azraai said he knew they would wrap up the game in 90 minutes.
“We kept on pressing even thouugh we went behind 0-1 at the hour mark. And this is where experience comes in and all my seniors players did well in their positions. I must salute our inspirational skipper Mohd Shukor. He was everywhere on the field.
“It gives me great satisfaction working with this mixed team of young and senior players. Many said that I won the double treble with Kedah because of the foreign players. Now I have proven them all wrong.
“My credit goes to Terengganu, too. They did well to win the FA Cup. In fact, many had predicted Terengganu to win but I knew that Negri can win it because of our experience,” said Azraai.