A determined Negeri Sembilan side clinched the Vivian May Soars Cup 2023 after beating KPT-Uniten Thunder in the final here at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil to seal a historic treble.
Negeri Sembilan became the first team in the country to win all three silverware when they added the Vivian May Soars Cup to the Charity Shield and also the League trophy they won earlier.
And in the final, Negeri Sembilan showed their quality to beat KPT-Uniten Thunder 3-2 in the Penalty Shootout after both teams were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation.
“It was a very difficult game and considering that we had two players sin-binned at one point, it was an extraordinary night. But the more important thing is that we won the treble,” said Negeri Sembilan head coach K. Rajan.
“We practised the Penalty Shootout right from the start of the season. Yesterday, we trained for both the Penalty Corner and also the Penalty Shootout.
“The goalkeeper (Hazlinda) was fabulous, she made three saves. That made the difference.”
While Negeri Sembilan were chasing the treble, KPT-Uniten were also hoping to win the Vivian May Soars Cup for a historic fourth time in a row.
But that was not to be when they came up against a resilient Negeri Sembilan side who rode the drama on the night with all their skills intact.
It was Negeri Sembilan who started the evening well with two Penalty Corners on a trot that came eerily close to changing the score line.
And while Fatin Shafikah Mohd Shukri may have failed to make it count with her attempts, she more than made up for it in the 26th minute when she broke through the KPT-Uniten backline to score past oncoming custodian Siti Nur Aisyah Hamidin.
Trailing by a goal down, it forced KPT-Uniten to take a more attacking stance and in the third quarter, they finally drew level with a Penalty Stroke from Iren Hussin in the 43rd minute of play.
But KPT’s inability to take advantage of Negeri Sembilan having two players sin-binned in the fourth quarter meant that they have had to go through the harrowing experience of the Penalty Shootout.
As it turned out, Negeri Sembilan keeper Nur Hazlinda Zainal Abidin was the hero for her team when she denied three attempts from Nurmaizatul Hanim Syafi Shiek Fuad, Dayang Nuramirah Abang Mahadhini and Nur Zafirah Aziz to give her team the 3-2 victory.
In the meantime, TLHT-MSNT came in third in the Vivian May Soars Cup 2023 after beating Young Tigress 4-2 in the Penalty Shootout, after both teams were tied scoreless at the end of regulation.
VIVIAN MAY SOARS CUP 2023
All matches at the National Hockey Stadium
KPT-Uniten Thunder 1 (2)
Negeri Sembilan 1 (3)
THIRD and FOURTH PLACING
Young Tigress 0 (2)
TLHT-MSNT 0 (4)