Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) inflicted a first defeat on Group ‘A’ rivals Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) in the Piala Keputeraan 2019 after they edged them 2-1 at the Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex on Wednesday night.
MCYS raced into a 2-0 lead through strikes from Mahdini bin Haji Mohammad and Azamain Haji Masri in the first half.
MoFE responded by fielding team’s top scorer Mohd Zaim bin Suhaili in the second half to add zest to the attack as they went in search of a goal after the first-half setback.
MoFE, who looked to enhance their progression prospects, received a blow when Awangku Md Hafizudin bin Pengiran Hassanuddin left the field due to injury just minutes into the second half.
The finance and economy ministry looked to get back into the game as a header sailed wide following a corner at the start of the second half.
The MCYS defensive wall was beaten when MoFE defender Mohd Nazree bin Asli provided a lofted ball into the box with a cleverly-thought set piece. As Mohd Zaim gave chase into the ball, his shot skidded wide off the near post under pressure by the MCYS goalkeeper.
The culture, youth and sports ministry stretched the MoFE defence as they sprayed passes from the middle of the park having been armed with ambitions to put the tie out of sight.
MoFE managed a scant consolation in dying minutes of the second half through Mohd Zaim netted for his fourth goal in three games.
MCYS will next play pre-tournament favourites Ministry of Defence (MinDEF) on September 22 while MOFE will look to return to winning ways against the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on October 6.
MoFE began their campaign in the Piala Keputeraan in a goal frenzy with a 6-4 victory over the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) before they held title contenders MinDEF to a 2-2 draw.
The competition continues tonight as the Ministry of Health (MoH) meet the Ministry of Education (MoE) in Group ‘B’ at the Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex.