Sunday, 30 October 2011

Negeri Sembilan come back from behind to win Malaysia Cup

Negeri Sembilan-Malaysia Cup2011

Hairuddin Omar scored a spectacular scissor-kick goal four minutes from time to give Negri Sembilan a dramatic come-from-behind 2-1 win over Terengganu in a pulsating Malaysia Cup final at the Shah Alam Stadium last night.

Mohd Ashaari Shamsuddin had given the east coast side the lead in the 59th minute but Negri’s nippy winger S. Kunalan equalised with a curling shot in the 81st minute.

Then, with four minutes on the clock Hairuddin, who is noted for his headers in front of goal, stunned the 80,000 capacity crowd with a scissor-kick strike.

Negri skipper Mohd Shukor Adan orchestrated the move with his precise passing and Hairuddin made no mistake as he tucked the ball away from the outstretched hands of Terengganu custodian Mohd Sharbinee Allawee.

It was unfortunate for Terengganu not to cap their season with the most prestigious silverware after having won the FA Cup and finishing runners-up to neighbours Kelantan in the Super League.

Terengganu coach Irfan Bakti even said they would win last night’s final when he said that “this is the season for Terengganu” after their Herculean efforts to beat Kelantan (5-3 on aggregate) and 32-time winners Selangor (4-1 on aggregate) in the quarter and semi-finals respectively.

But it was not their night.

Negri coach Mohd Azraai Khor Abdullah will be proud of his senior citizens especially skipper Mohd Shukor, centre-back Norhafiz Zamani Misbah and the hero of the night Hairuddin – all in their prime of their playing careers.

The only thing missing from the pulsating opening half was the goals.

Negri dominated the procedings and won most of the possession in midfield with the fleet-footed Terengganu boys surprisingly reduced to just counter attacks.

The spotlight was on Negri’s targetman Hairuddin Omar, whose best chance of the half came in the opening 47 seconds of the match when he missed a sitter in front of goal with only Terengganu goalkeeper Mohd Sharbinee Allawee to beat.

Hairuddin with eight goals in the Malaysia Cup, six from headers, was heavily marked last night.

Still they could not prevent him from scoring the winner which was his third consecutive goal in three Malaysia Cup finals. He scored for Negri in 2009 when they beat Kelantan and then for Kelantan in 2010 when they beat Negri.

Terengganu were unable to dish out their smooth flowing attacking game with playmaker Joseph Kallang Tie and Reeshafiq Alwi unable to get their act right.

Hotshot Abdul Manaf Mamat had the best chance when he broke loose into the box but his shot was denied by the woodwork in the 23rd minute.

Lanky Mohd Ashaari Shamsuddin provided some anxious moments for the Terengganu fans with his strong runs and even came close with a shot at goal which Negri goalkeeper Mohd Farizal Marlias saved in the 21st minute.

Negri’s speedy flankers S. Kunalan and Shahurain Abu Samah were a menace in the Terengganu half creating the openings through their darting runs.

It was Terengganu’s baby face asssassin Mohd Ashaari who drew first blood when he latched onto Abdul Manaf’s pass to whip the ball past Negri goalkeeper Mohd Farizal in the 59th minute.

All of a sudden Terengganu had fresh legs and they kept Negri pinned in their own half but Negr’s persistence paid off as Kunalan stunned the crowd with a left-footed cross which sailed into the net beating an off-guard Terengganu goalkeeper Mohd Sharbinee in the 80th minute.

Then, it was Hairuddin’s, also fondly called “Hai O”, turn to make it a memorable night for Negri in the 86th minute. The goal also delivered the third consecutive Malaysia Cup winners’ medal for Hairuddin.

Terengganu: Mohd Sharbinee Allawee, Reeshafiq Alwi, Joseph Kallang Tie, Abdul Hadi Yahya (Ismail Faruqi), Mazlizam Mohd (Helmi Remeli), Mohd Zubir Azmi, Mohd Marzuki Yusof, Ahmad Nordin Alias, Abdul Manaf Mamat, Mohd Ashaari Shamsuddin, Mohd Faizal Mohd.

N. Sembilan: Mohd Farizal Marlias, Norhafiz Zamani Misbah, S. Kunalan, Mohd Aidil Zafuan, Shahurain Abu Samah (Mohd Firdaus Azizul), Abdul Halim Zainal, Mohd Shukor Adan, Qhairul Anwar Roslani, Idris Karim, Hairuddin Omar, Irwan Fadli Idrus

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