MoHA underline intent in defending Piala Keputeraan title with 8-1 victory over MoRA

Fadhil Yunus

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) underlined their intent of making a successful title defence in the Piala Keputeraan 2019 after they hammered the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) 8-1 in a top-of-the-table clash at the Berakas Sports Complex on Friday night.

MoHA’s star player Muhammad Maududi bin Kasmi stole the show with a five-goal display in the annihilation.

The result meant the defending champions finished Group ‘B’ as winners at the expense of MoRA, who took the runners-up spot.

Sairol bin Sahari opened the scoring for MoHA in the third minute before Muhammad Maududi grabbed two goals in a space of four minutes with less than half an hour played.

MoHA’s speedy attacker Hamizan Aziz bin Sulaiman made it 4-0 in the 29th minute before Mohd Fadzil bin Md Yanie netted his side’s fifth 10 minutes later.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) and the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) players in action during the match. PHOTO: FADHIL YUNUS

MoRA pulled one back through their talisman Mohd Asri bin Haji Aspar three minutes before the break in what appeared to be a mere consolation.

MoHA’s attacking firepower was simply too hot to handle as Muhammad Maududi completed his hat-trick in the 52nd minute.

With Super League-based players Sahrin Momin and Hamizan Aziz pulling the strings, MoHA weaved through the MoRA backline and released a pass but an opposing defender blocked a fierce drive which looked to be on target.

There were little moments to reflect on for MoRA as Mohd Asri skipped past his marker and slipped a pass to a teammate, who inadvertently dragged his shot comfortably wide.

Asri then set Abdul Azim bin Haji Mohd Safri free with a delightful chip but the latter could not recover the ball from rolling out of play with the MoHA goalkeeper on the ground.

MoRA played a pass dangerously short, and their mistake was severely punished as MoHA hit on the counter with Hamizan Aziz driving forward with purpose.

As the MoRA defence was stretched, Hamizan Aziz picked a teammate who unselfishly squared the ball in the middle for Maududi who guided home for his fourth goal of the game.

Muhammad Maududi compounded MoRA’s woes with his fifth goal of the game after steering the ball home from close range.

The group stage round concluded with a match between Group ‘A’ winners the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) at the Berakas Sports Complex last night.

Meanwhile, the Piala Keputeraan 2019 Football Championship Secretariat has announced the dates of the semi-finals and final.

PMO will meet MoRA in the first semi-final on October 25 while MoHA will face the Ministry of Defence (MinDef) in the second semi-final on October 28. Both matches will be played at the Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex.

The final of the Piala Keputeraan 2019 will be held at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on November 10.