In­vest­ments pay off for Min­istry of Fi­nance team

New Straits Times - - Sport -

MIN­ISTRY of Fi­nance FC (MOF) look set to make an im­pact this sea­son fol­low­ing a per­fect start in the FAM Cup.

Last Sun­day, MOF recorded their sec­ond straight win in Group A by over­com­ing Shahzan Muda 1-0 at In­spen Sta­dium in Bangi.

For­mer Kedah winger Farizal Rozali net­ted the only goal in the 76th minute.

The promis­ing start has put them on the right foot­ing for their FAM Cup third round match against Sabah on March 11.

Formed in 2014, MOF have in­vested in sev­eral for­mer state play­ers in the hope of gain­ing pro­mo­tion to next sea­son’s Premier League.

Among the no­table play­ers are for­mer Se­lan­gor striker Rudie Ramli, Ree­shafiq Alwi, Wan Za­man Wan Mustapha and Wan Mohd Azwari Wan Nor.

Coach S. Balachan­dran hopes the team will be able to main­tain their con­sis­tency through­out the sea­son.

“The FAM Cup is not an easy tour­na­ment. Many teams have in­vested on qual­ity play­ers. Ev­ery team have the same am­bi­tion of pro­mo­tion and we need to be on our toes.

“The first tar­get is to fin­ish top four for qual­i­fi­ca­tion into the quar­ter-fi­nals.

“I have fight­ers who are ea­ger to help the club achieve their goals.

“As for the FA Cup, it is al­ready a great achieve­ment to reach the third round.

“Any­thing more than that will be a bonus and added mo­ti­va­tion to the team,” said Balachan­dran.

Univer­sity Ke­bangsaan Malaysia (UKM) lead the stand­ings on goal dif­fer­ence over MOF with each notch­ing two wins.

Has­rul Nurkho­lis Hasim’s hat­trick earned UKM a 4-3 win over MPKB-BRI UBES FC in Kota Baru.

The 24-year-old scored in the ninth, 66th and 84th min­utes while Hariri Ibrahim scored the other in the first minute.

Khairudin Ramli (76th and 87th) and Raim Azmi (90th) replied for the Ke­lan­tan club.

KL City Hall de­feated Tereng­ganu’s Hanelang 2-0 through ef­forts by Ikram Ibrahim (14th) and Syafiq Pauzee (59th) while Haziq Muizi Ab­dul’s goal in the 39th minute earned Fel­cra a 1-0 win over Kadazan Dusun Mu­rut Malaysia (KDMM).

In Group B, lead­ers Sime Darby de­feated Kuch­ing FA 1-0 in Bukit Je­lu­tong through Nazrul Ka­maruza­man’s strike in the 18th minute.

Malacca Wa­ter Cor­po­ra­tion Ber­had (SAMB) are sec­ond with four points fol­low­ing a 2-0 win over Se­lan­gor Malays in Kuala Lumpur.

Shakir Sa­mad (56th) and Asyraf Ab­dul Talib (90th) net­ted for the home­sters.

PJ Rangers were held 0-0 by Tereng­ganu City at Sul­tan Is­mail Nasirud­din Shah Sta­dium.

TO­MOR­ROW — Group A: Hanelang v Shahzan Muda (As­taka Field, Kuala Berang), UKM v KL City Hall (UKM Mini Sta­dium), Fel­cra v MPKB-BRI UBES (UM Arena Sta­dium; 8.45pm), KDMM v MOF (Keningau Sports Com­plex Sta­dium; 8.15pm); Group B: SAMB v Kuch­ing (Hang Tuah Sta­dium; 8.45pm), PJ Rangers v Se­lan­gor Malays (MBPJ Sta­dium; 8.45pm), Pen­jara v Tereng­ganu City (Pen­jara Ka­jang Sta­dium) —

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