FORMBOOKS were turned upside down as Navishini Ipoh and Ipoh City Council Academy, emerged winners in the Datuk Haji Hamidin Mohd Amin / X Mail FC Challenge trophies for Veterans 9s and inaugural Under-16, football tournaments respectively, on Malaysia Day (Sept 16) at the Ipoh Padang, Perak.

The Datuk Hamidin Challenge trophies were donated by the FA of Malaysia president, Datuk Hamidin, saw the introduction of a Under-16 tournament with another Challenge Trophy, while the veteran edition entered it’s third year.

Organised by the Kuala Lumpur XMail Veterans FC, in collaboration with local partners, Ipoh Friday Club, the tournament saw eight invited teams in each category, compete in the one-day tournament, which was supported by the Ipoh City Council.

While the focus was on defending champions XMail FC, Navishini Kuala Kangsar Municipal Council and teams like Kinta Indians and Bacolod United in the veterans categories to do well, and teams like CIMB YFA, Tejarians, My World Hunters FC and Black Leopard Kenaga, were early favourites in the Under-16 category, it was the other teams who stole the limelight.

Only Navishini Kuala Kangsar Municipal Council, kept their favourite tag to reach the final, while others fell wayside.

Most disappointing must have been for XMail FC, who fell from defending champions to finish 7th place, one place above table supporters and debutants, Bacolod United from Philippines.

The Datuk Bandar of Ipoh, Datuk Rumaizi Baharin, officially declared the tournament open on the morning of Saturday, after a short opening ceremony, which included a march past of the teams carrying state flags of Malaysia, as part of celebrating Malaysia Day, and the playing of the national and Perak State anthems.

The teams who competing in the veteran category for players 45 years and above, were Kinta Indian Association (KIA), Lintau FC (Perak), Navashini Kuala Kangsar Municipal Council, Melwood Boys (Selangor), Bacolod United FC, Ipoh City Hall, Navashini Ipoh FC and KL XMail FC.

In the U-16 category, the teams were Black Leopard Kenaga from Kuala Lumpur, My World Hunters FA Football Academy (Penang), Klebang Selantan FC (Perak), Ipoh City Hall Academy, Dinding Indian Association Sitiawan (Perak), Tejarians (Perak), CIMB YFA (Selangor) and Ipoh Friday Club Academy.

Sadly, the Veteran’s final, had to be decided on toss-coin, because of bad weather, between Navishini Kuala Kangar and Navishini Ipoh, both teams sponsored by M. Mohganan and it was won by Navashini Ipoh, while Navashini Kuala Kangsar had to settle for being bridesmaid for the second year running.

Navashini Ipoh had defeated Ipoh City Hall in the the first semifinal 1-0, while Navishini Kuala Kangsar had defeated Lintau FC 2-0 in the second semifinal.

In the Under-16 final, Ipoh City Hall, who had finished runner-up in their Group A to CIMB YFA, and defeated Group B champions, Tejarian in the semifinals 2-0, defeated co-host Ipoh Friday FC to wrest the title.

The hero for Ipoh City Hall was Mohammad Aisy Amran who scored the opening goal to emerge top scorer of the tournament with four goals while the second goal was scored by Mohamad Amirul Danmish Mohamad Kamsul.

For Ipoh Friday, who tried very hard but had to succumb, had the consolation of seeing S. Tharaniswaran, named the Man-of-the-match, for his endless effort to put his team back in the battle.

Bacolod United, were surprised by the standard shown by the  Malaysians and vowed to return better prepared next year.

‚ÄúWe were taken by surprise how fast and fit the Malaysian players were playing on a full sized pitch. We are used to play on half a field and most of our players were above 50,‚ÄĚ said Dave Javellana, the Philippines FA grassroots development Director, who played for Bacolod United.

‚ÄúI was also surprised with the high quality shown by the Under-16 players. Maybe next year we will be field a Under-16 team too,‚ÄĚ added Javellana whose team won the Fair Play trophy.

He also praised the organisers for a well organised tournament.

‚ÄúWe certainly enjoyed our trip here and certainly looking forward to coming back next year with am more formidable team. Besides with the tournament moving to a different venue it will give our team to visit other parts of beautiful Malaysia.‚ÄĚ

Datuk Adly Shah Ahmad Tah, FAM Exco member, who represented Datuk Hamidin, who was away overseas, gave away the prizes after the final.

The tournament was made possible with personal contribution of supporters and well wishers of the XMail team and several sponsors.

Among the sponsors include Skekhinah PR who are celebrating their 10th anniversary, 100 Plus, Milo, Malay Mail, Flash Sukan, HA Megah Technology Sdn Bhd, XOX, Trek Fomena, Protect Migrant, My Qaseh and KR Travels.



Veterans Category:

Champion/Runner-up: Navishini Ipoh (won on toss coin against Navashini Kuala Kangsar) 

Third place: Lintau FC (decided on three penalties Рbt  Ipoh City Hall 3-2)

Man of the Match: Nik Azrizan (Navashini Ipoh)

Top Scorer: Alias Mat (5 goals) – Navishini Kuala Kangsar

Best Goalkeeper: Mathi Alakan (Navashini Ipoh)

Fair Play Trophy: Bacolod United Philippines


Under-16 Category:

Champion/Runner-up: Ipoh City (beat Ipoh Friday Club 2-0)

Third Place: CIMB YFA  (decided on three penalties, followed by sudden-death Р4-3)

Man of the Match: S. Tharaniswaran (Ipoh Friday Club)

Top Scorer: Mohammad Aisy Amran  (4 goals РIpoh City Hall)

Best Goalkeeper: Mohammad Adam Aqil (Ipoh City Hall)

Fair Play Trophy: Black Leopard Kenaga, KL

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