KPT-Uniten Thunder will be eager to spring a surprise as Negeri Sembilan will be out to land the historic treble when the two sides clash in the final of the Vivian May Soars Cup 2023 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil tomorrow night.
In what was a repeat of the final last year, KPT will be out to create a history of their own by winning the Vivian May Soars Cup for the fourth time in four years while at the same time denying Negeri Sembilan the much-vaunted treble.
For the record, KPT-Uniten were winners of the Vivian May Soars Cup in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
“We were denied twice by Negeri Sembilan (in the Charity Shield and also the League). We are confident but we need to refine our goal-scoring abilities and also make full use of the Penalty Corners,” said KPT-Uniten head coach Izzwan Mohamed Salleh.
“We played them twice before, so we will be making certain changes to our game plan. We are prepared for any eventualities but we would rather decide the outcome of the game at the end of regulation and not go into the Penalty Shootout.”
Added KPT-Uniten captain Raja Norsharina Raja Shabuddin: “we may have missed two Cups, but the players are still motivated. The spirit and the desire to win are there. But we have to play to our strength. Negeri Sembilan have a good finishing and that is one area which we really need to improve on tomorrow.”
On the other hand, Negeri Sembilan have one eye on the Vivian May Soars Cup and the other on creating history as the first team in Malaysia to win the treble.
“I believe that both teams are evenly matched. But what will make the difference is on the pitch on the day of the final,” said Negeri Sembilan head coach K. Rajan.
“We are out to create history and that is to win the treble. Previously, teams can only win the double. But with the introduction of the Charity Shield at the start of the season, it means that we are now within reach of the treble.
“We want to be the first team to do that. Our strength is that we have current national players and also ex-national players alongside young players in the squad. That gave us balance.”
Added Negeri Sembilan captain Nur Afiqah Syahzani Azhar: “we are motivated to win our third Cup this year. But I reminded the girls that we have to be focussed for the full 60 minutes. So we are looking forward to a keen final tomorrow against KPT.”
VIVIAN MAY SOARS CUP 2023
All matches at the National Hockey Stadium
FINAL (1800hrs): KPT-Uniten Thunder vs Negeri Sembilan
THIRD and FOURTH PLACING (1600hrs): Young Tigress vs TLHT-MSNT