MALAYSIA were made to slog by Egypt, but the 4-1 victory was sweet reward for them in the 18th Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh yesterday.
Malaysia were put under pressure in the first half as Egypt made use of their superior height to steal the ball, and goalkeeper S. Kumar was kept busy.
And at the Egyptian goal, Azlan Misron and Ismail Abu tested goalkeeper Mohamed Mabrouk with a few deft deflections, but the score remained 0-0 as the clock ticked. The Malaysian players looked content on keeping the ball for long periods and making the Egyptians run in circles.
Ismail finally gave the Malaysian fans something to cheer about when he fired a salvo from the top of the semi-circle to beat Mabrouk in the 27th minute.
The restart saw Malaysia mount numerous attacks and finally won their first penalty corner in the 39th minute.
Amin Rahim took the flick but was stopped by the first runner, and another penalty corner was awarded. This time, defender Engku Malek made no mistake with a thundering shot.
Egypt woke up from their slumber in the 45th minute, and Ahmed El Hakeim made it 2-1 with a field goal.
Malaysia won a string of penalty corners with 10 minutes remaining but none found its mark until the 64th minute when Chua Boon Huat connected. And Boon Huat again scored off a similar penalty corner set-piece four minutes later and Malaysia were safely home.
In an earlier match, New Zealand beat Pakistan 3-2 courtesy of a late penalty stroke.
Priyesh Bhana gave New Zealand the lead in the seventh minute only for Imran Mohammed to equalise for Pakistan a minute later, and then give his team the lead with a 23rd minute penalty corner brace.
Nicholas Haig made it 2-2 in the 44th minute, and New Zealand nailed the winner in the 68th when they were awarded a penalty stroke from which Dean Couzins converted.
FIXTURES: Today: REST DAY.
Tomorrow: Egypt v New Zealand (5pm), India v Malaysia (7pm); April 9: New Zealand v India (5pm), Pakistan v Egypt (7pm). April 10: REST DAY. April 11: India v Pakistan (5pm), New Zealand v Malaysia (7pm); April 12: Third-Fourth (4.30pm), Final: (7pm).
P W D L F A Pts
MALAYSIA 2 2 0 0 7 3 6
NEW ZEALAND 1 1 0 0 3 2 3
INDIA 1 0 1 0 2 2 1
EGYPT 2 0 1 1 3 6 1
PAKISTAN 2 0 0 2 4 6 0