Sunday, May 16, 2010

India-Korea joint champions

THE India-South Korea final could only be played for seven minutes, as
torrential rain stopped play until 10 pm, and the organising committee
decided to award both the teams as joint-champions.
This is the first time in the history of the Azlan Shah Cup, incepted in
1983, that a final was rained off and joint-champions declared.

Aussies too good for young Mas

MALAYSIA took an early lead, but then crumbled in the second half to lose 5-3 to world No 1 Australia in the fight for bronze in the 19th Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh last night.
Malaysia took the match to the Australian semi-circle from the first whistle, and there was plenty of action in the first half, with most of it coming from the young national team.
Australia won a total of four penalty corners, all resulted from counter attacks, but bungled them all.
Malaysia failed to win a single penalty corner, because the strikers were more intent on taking shots at goal which were cleverly stopped by Australian goalkeeper George Bazeley.
However, in the 14th minute, a super effort from 19-year-old Faizal Saari took him to the top of the Australian semicircle, and he made a deft pass to Hafifihafiz Hanafi who, slammed it into the top of the net for a well deserved lead.
Australia were only dangerous in the final minutes of the half, and off a goalmouth melee in the 34th minute, Matthew Swann scored the equaliser off a reverse stick attempt.
Australia came out of the dressing room with guns blazing, and in a spate of five minutes they had five chances which were stopped by goalkeepr S. Kumar and also the post.
But the world No 1 inserted more pressure and Kumar finally cracked in the 43rd minute when Russell Ford sent in a cracker from the the top of the semi-circle.
And after taking the lead, Australia went on a goal hunt and found their third in the 50th minute when Kieran Govers scored off a penalty corner attempt.
Malaysia were reduced to defending after that. but still the Aussies scored their fourth goal in the 55th minute. This time, Christopher Ciriello scored from their sixth penalty corner.
And the fifth goal was scored with easy by Grant Schubert in the 65th minute, and it started to rain again.
However, Malaysia never gave up and with three seconds to go, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin scored to narrow the defeat margin.
RESULTS: Final -- India x South Korea x; Third-Fourth: Malaysia 3 Australia 5; Fifth-Sixth: Pakistan 1 China 1 (Pakistan win 6-5 on penalty strokes).

Pakistan fifth on strokes


PAKISTAN ended up in fifth place in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup when they defeated China 6-5 on penalty strokes after the two teams were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation and extra time
Pakistan had recorded a 6-2 win in the preliminary round over China and had expected another easy match, as evident from their lackadaisical approach in the early stages of the match.
China were awarded a penalty corner in the fifth minute but did not capitalize on the situation. However China were not to be denied as Na Yubo, easily their best player in the tournament, scored in the 24th minute.
Pakistan were lethargic, and missing was their fast breaks and wizardry as they took time to adjust to the humid conditions, made worse after a downpour earlier.
But try as Pakistan did, they failed to create any worthy goal scoring chances and at the break China led 1-0. The equalizer did come eventually as Shafqat Rasool was the first to pounce on a penalty corner rebound in the 43rd minute.
Though Pakistan forced a series of penalty corners after that, Chinese keeper Su Rifeng was outstanding.
The match then went into extra time but it failed to produce the golden goal. And the first series of strokes also did not produce a winner as both teams converted their five penalty strokes.
For Pakistan, Muhammad Irfan, Shafqat Rasool, Muhammad Touseeq, Mohamad Zubair and Muhamad Rizwan converted while for China, Sun Tianjun, Liu Yixian, Liu Xiantang, Dong Yang and Ji Mi were all successful in their attempts.
In the sudden death Khasif Ali missed the attempt but so did China’s Dong Yang. Shafqat Rasool scored the next but Ji Mi’s attempt rebounded of the post and Pakistan were fifth.