MFA crash out of Piala Keputeraan

Fadhil Yunus

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) crashed out of the Piala Keputeraan 2019 after they suffered a 3-1 defeat to the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) in Group ‘A’ at the Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas on Wednesday night.

Both teams completed their group matches as MoFE climbed to third place while MFA slipped to fourth.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) have been officially confirmed as group winners while the Ministry of Defence (MinDef) will join them in the knock-out stages as runners-up of Group ‘A’.

Only a win would do for the MFA personnel to pip MinDef for the final qualifying spot, but their task was made harder when they went two goals down.

MoFE striker Mohd Zaim bin Suhaili continued his scoring streak after he opened the scoring with a coolly-struck finish in the bottom corner, his seventh goal in the tournament.

Mohd Arifubillah bin Haji Masli doubled the lead with a stunning strike in the 27th minute before MFA danger man Mohamed Zulkhairy bin Razali pulled his side back in the contest in the 35th minute.

With time running out for MFA to turn the match around, Mohd Arifubillah hammered the final nail in the coffin as he grabbed his second of the game two minutes from time to make it 3-1.

The competition continues tonight with the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) playing each other in a top-of-the-table clash in Group ‘B’ at the Berakas Sports Complex.

The group stages of the inter-ministry tournament will conclude with PMO playing basement dwellers the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) at the Berakas Sports Complex tomorrow.

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) players in action during the match. PHOTO: FADHIL YUNUS