Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) etched further milestones in their colourful history when they wrapped up their first-ever treble with a narrow 2-1 win over Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) in the TNB Cup final this evening at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
The east coast side, who had already taken the Charity Shield and also the League title earlier, made sure of the treble with who else but Jang Jong-hyun to deliver the late winner.
“It is a historic moment for the management and also for the players. To win the treble after ten years is an achievement,” said THT captain Fitri Saari.
“We had a lot of chances but we missed several in the first half. When we were leading, we had to be careful and we defended well in the closing stages of the game. So, this win is really fabulous for the people of Terengganu.”
In a high-paced and intense tie between the two kingpins of Malaysian hockey, the focus was always on South Korean Jong-hyun with THT hoping that he will make the difference against a TNB side eager to wrest their second TNB Cup in two years.
But with the two early Penalty Corners not able to make a change to the scoreboard as Jong-hyun was clearly marked out, it forced THT to ring tactical changes into the second quarter.
And in the 24th minute, THT’s persistence paid off handsomely when off a long ball in from midfield, Faizal Saari surged ahead of his marker to guide the ball into the goal for the lead.
Cajoled into action, TNB pressed forward in search of the equaliser but even with the several goal-mouth melees, they just could not find the space and time to slot the ball home.
However, there was no denying TNB the equaliser in the 43rd minute when Muhammad Azrai Aizad Abu Kamal finished off a rebound after an earlier Penalty Corner was blocked.
And THT would find themselves under immense pressure soon after when they had to contend with seven Penalty Corners from TNB in a row as they defended hard against a determined TNB side.
But THT would soon show their pedigree in the 52nd minute when Jong-hyun finished off a Penalty Corner for the win and the treble.
On the other hand, Maybank powered past UiTM-HA KPT 4-1 to finish third in the TNB Cup 2023.
TNB CUP 2023
Tenaga Nasional Berhad 1
Terengganu Hockey Team 2
THIRD and FOURTH PLACING
UiTM HA-KPT 1