TIME TO PRAY MORE THAN PLAY.. Malaysian players in a light moment in Invercargill. Pic. S.S. Dhaliwal.
RESULTS: New Zealand 4 (6th minute - Ryan Archibald - PC, 10th minute - Phillip Burrows - FG, 52nd Minute - Hayden Shaw PC, 62nd minute - Simon Child - FG)
Malaysia 2 (30th minute - Azlan Misron - PC, 44th minute - Faisal Saari - FG).
CHINA 2 (47th minute - Liu Yixian - PC, 57th minute - Na Yubo - FG) WALES 1 (44th minute - Andrew Cornick - FG).
AUSTRIA 2 (27th minute - Peter Proksch - PC, 59th minute - Michael Korper - PC) SCOTLAND 3 (37th minute - Ross Stott - FG, 61st minute - Kenneth Bain-FG, 66th minute - Mark Ralph - PC)
MALAYSIA let slip another golden opportunity when they lost steam in the second half to lose 4-2 to New Zealand in the World Cup Qualifier in Invercargill yesterday.
New Zealand were leading 2-0 by the 10th minute, but Malaysia drew level and had the match in hand, but let in two more goals late in the second half.
New Zealand now have nine points, and are tied with China who edged Wales 2-1 yesterday.
Malaysia next play Scotland tomorrow and wrap-up their fixtures against China on Saturday.
The World Cup campaign is almost in tatters, and now coach Tai Beng Hai’s men must pray that the Kiwis beat China tomorrow,, and they collect maximum six points in their last two matches.
New Zealand scored in the sixth minute off Ryan Archibald and increased the lead off Phillip Burrows in the 10th minute.
Malaysia’s fight-back was started by a 30th minute penalty corner set-piece by Azlan Misron, and 18-year-old Faizal Saari then scored a field goal in the 44th minute to draw level.
But that was it, as Malaysia crumbled under pressure and allowed Hayden Shaw to score in the 52nd, and then Simon Child made the final tally 4-2 in the 62nd minute.
Beng Hai was upset with the umpires, who sent three Malaysian players to the sin-bin at crucial times.
“The yellow cards to Sukri Mutalib and Madzli Ikmar, I believe, were unnecessary and came at a time when we were looking to increase our tally after drawing level. The cards killed our game.
“However, I hope New Zealand keep their winning streak against China (Thursday) and we beat Scotland. Then, we will play for the final slot against China in our last pool match,” said Beng Hai.
New Zealand coach Shane McLeod said he does not believe in holding back, or fielding reserves even though they are in a commanding position.
“There will be no holding back when we play China, as it will be a good sparring opportunity, because we might meet them in the final again,” said McLeod.
China proved that consistence pays when they beat Wales 2-1 yesterday, which was also their winning margins against Scotland and Austria.
Wales were leading off a 44th minute strike from Andrew Cornick, but the Chinese drew level off Liu Yixian in the 47th and Na Yubo nailed the winner in the 57th minute.
In another match Scotland bounced back from two defeats to beat Austria 3-2 with goals from Ross Stott (37th), Kenneth Bain (61st) and Mark Ralph (66th).
The Austrian scorers were Peter Proksch (27th) and Michael Korper (59th).
P W D L F A Pts
NEW ZEALAND 3 3 0 0 18 4 9
CHINA 3 3 0 0 6 3 9
MALAYSIA 3 1 1 1 6 7 4
SCOTLAND 3 1 0 2 4 12 3
AUSTRIA 3 0 1 2 5 7 1
WALES 3 0 0 3 4 10 0
RESULTS: Austria 2 Scotland 3, China 2 Wales 1, Malaysia 2 New Zealand 4.
TODAY: Rest Day
TOMORROW (Malaysian Tines): Malaysia v Scotland (9am), Austria v Wales (11am), China v New Zealand (1pm).
FRIDAY: Rest Day.
SATURDAY: Scotland v Wales (5am), New Zealand v Aus tria (7am), China v Malaysia (9am).