Sultan Sharif Ali Mosque win Zain Cup

Fadhil Yunus

Sultan Sharif Ali Sengkurong Mosque of the Brunei-Muara District exacted redemption against Temburong District’s RPN Kampong Rataie Mosque after a 2-1 win in the final of the Zain Cup at the Hassanal Bolkiah Arabic Boys Secondary School yesterday.

The tables have turned a year after the heartbreak of losing out to Kampong Rataie 8-7 in penalties in the same stage during the previous edition.

After a cagey start, both teams found the back of the net with each team’s goalkeeper possibly feeling they could have done better. However, the outcome of the match was decided by sheer technical quality and a sublime finish fashioned by a talented player.

The defending champions took the lead after a sliding finish by Muhammad Azhari Danial bin Haji Mohd Yusra as he pounced on a loose ball after the Sultan Sharif Ali Mosque goalkeeper failed to keep out his teammate’s cross.

The Temburong outfit’s lead was short-lived after the goalkeeper slipped the ball from a Muhammad Hanif Aiman bin Haji Adnan’s shot from distance.

Sultan Sharif Ali Sengkurong Mosque players with the winners’ trophy. PHOTO: FADHIL YUNUS

But there was no stopping the winner as tournament high-profile player Muhammad Hanif Aiman belted a screamer worthy of a championship-winning goal.

Kampong Rataie pushed for a leveller as they piled the pressure before a long ball that went astray allowed Sultan Sharif Ali a sigh of relief with victory within sight.

Similar to last year, Zainab Lumut Mosque of the Belait District clinched third place, followed by Jame’ ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah.

Meanwhile, Pengiran Muda ‘Abdul Malik Mosque of Kampong Tungku-Katok emerged winners of the Mosque Affairs Director Cup after they overcame Building and Maintenance Division of the Ministry of Religious Affairs 4-3 in penalties.

Organised by the Mosque Affairs Department with the cooperation of Jame’ ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah and Titian Travel and Tours, the tournament ran for three days including matches held on February 9 and 16 and attracted participation from mosque youth nationwide.

Held for a fourth straight year, the tournament aimed to enhance the standard of futsal, showcase talents as well as foster team spirits and cooperation.

Legislative Council member Yang Berhormat Haji Abdul Hamid @ Sabli bin Haji Arshad presented the prizes. Deputy Permanent Secretary (Policy and Religious) at the Ministry of Religious Affairs Haji Mohd Serudin bin Haji Timbang was present during the prize presentation ceremony.