MALAYSIA finally found their winning touch in the 19th Azlan Shah Cup when they beat Egypt 5-0 in Ipoh yesterday.
And after a day's rest they will face top-of-the-table in India, and wrap-up their fixtures against China on Thursday. The national players need six points from both the remaining matches for a good finish.
Coach Stephen van Huizen's men were in dire need to beat Egypt to keep afloat in the Azlan Shah Cup, but started off listlessly, and strikers Azlan Misron, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin and Hafifihafiz Hanafi were clueless when presented with chances.
This tirade continued for a good 20 minutes, and the crowd became restless as Egypt started to come out of their semi-circle and started attacking.
After a few close shaves, finally the national players got their act together in the 24th minute when Azlan Misron scored a freak goal for the much sought after lead.
Azlan raced into the semi-circle and lost the ball when Egyption goalkeeper Farahat El Razak shielded it from him, but in his haste, the goalkeeper fumbled and allowed the ball to trickle into goal.
And Malaysia increased the lead off their second penalty corner in the 33rd minute when Amin Rahim made a dummy and passed the ball to 19-year-olf Faizal Saari to flick high into the net.
The second half saw more urgency from the Malaysian side and in the 40th minute, the lead was increased to 3-0 when Amin Rahim made a direct penalty corner attempt.
And the Egyptions had barely settled down, when a minute later Azlan Misron scored his brace after connecting home a pass from close range.
The Egyptions were beaten, but Malaysia needed more goals and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin delivered the fifth in the 56th minute.
Tengku was named as man-of-the-match for his tireless workrate in the second half.
Defending champions India pulled of a major upset when they beat World No 1 Australia 4-3 in a thriller.
India, unbeaten after four matches, have two more matches against Malaysia and Egypt, and three points would be enough to take them into the final.
India took a 3-0 lead into the breather when Tushar Khandker (19th, 33rd) and Rajpal Singh (21st) were on target. However, they allowed the Aussies back into the match with goals from Trent Milton (38th) and Christopher Ciriello (40th) before Shivendra Singh came to their rescue with a 61st minute goal to make it 4-2.
Australia narrowed the gap with 30 seconds remaining on the clock off a Mark Paterson field goal.
In the first match of the day, South Korea beat China 5-3 and will have to beat both Australia on Thursday and Pakistan on Saturday to keep their hopes of reaching the final alive.
P W D L F A Pts
INDIA 4 3 1 0 12 8 10
KOREA 4 2 1 1 14 7 7
AUSTRALIA 3 2 0 1 9 5 6
MALAYSIA 4 1 2 1 10 6 5
PAKISTAN 3 1 1 1 11 9 4
CHINA 3 0 1 2 6 12 1
EGYPT 3 0 0 3 0 15 0
RESULTS: South Korea 5 China 3, Australia 3 India 4, Malaysia 5 Egypt
TODAY: Rest Day.
TOMORROW: Australia v Pakistan (4.05pm), China v Egypt (6.05pm),
India v Malaysia (8.05pm).