Under-18 Asia Cup in Myanmar.
FINAL: Malaysia 3 Pakistan 4.
THIRD-FOURTH: Korea 4 Japan 2.
MALAYSIA lost 4-3 to Pakistan in the Under-18 Asia Cup final in Yangon, Myanmar yesterday.
It was the second silver medal for Malaysia in consecutive Sundays, after the senior side lost 2-1 to New Zealand in the World Cup Qualifier in Invercargill.
In the bronze playoff, South Korea beat Japan 4-2.
Malaysia also lost by a similar margin to Pakistan in the Group A match.
However, the boys deserve credit as they beat the bigwigs in Asia, India 3-2 and South Korea 3-2, on their route to the final.
Coach K. Dharmaraj blamed himself for the defeat: “We had a total of 11 penalty corners and only scord two goals, while Pakistan had two penalty corners only and scored one.
“I tried out the direct flick, in all the penalty corners, and failed. I should have opted for set-pieces, but did not. That is why I blame myself for the defeat,” said Dharmaraj.
Malaysia took the lead with a 10th minute strike from Sabri Mohamed but in a five minute blitz, Pakistan not only won the equaliser but took a 3-1 lead going into the breather.
And just after re-start, Pakistan scored their fourth.
“Sabri scored his second and Firhan (Ashari) made it 3-4, but time was not with us to clinch the equaliser.
“The goalkeeper (Hazrul Faiz) took us into the final as he was in terrific form, but in the final, Pakistan only had four clear shots at goal, and all went in.
“It was my goalkeepers off day, and we missed a chance to play in the Youth Olympics in Singapore next year,” said Dharmaraj.