Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kiwis check into final

NEW Zealand beat Malaysia 4-1 to qualify for the final of the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh yesterday.
    It was again a case of porous defense for Malaysia, as they have let in a total of 13 goals in five matches.
    Malaysia were a jaded side in the first half, as they gave the Kiwis too much space to roam and were punished early in the match.
     Ryan Archibald made it look easy by tucking the ball between goalkeeper S. Kumar’s pads in the fifth minute, and it was just the start of Malaysia’s misery.
    New Zealand, who beat Malaysia 2-1 in the final of the World Cup Qualifier, then hit their second when Shea Mcaleese’s 16th minute volley almost tore the netting.
  And in the 34th minute, Nick Wilson made it 3-0 and the prospect of a comeback was lost when Malaysia’s only penalty corner was also wasted.
   After the break, it was the same script, as New Zealand kept possession and attacked on counters, while Malaysia were falling and chugging along waiting for the clock to kill the match.
   However, a lucky break in the 45th minute saw Hafifi Hafiz slam in the ball between the pads of Kiwi goalkeeper.
    But that was as far as they went as Shay Neil scored the fourth goal in the 62nd minute to qualify for the final.
   Meanwhile, India re-ignited their fire with a 2-1 win over Pakistan, while Britain played to a 1-1 draw with South Korea.
   India and Pakistan were heading for a draw, but V. Sunil scored in the final minute for nine points after six matches.
     Sandeep Singh gave India the lead off a powerful flick which sailed past goalkeeper Imran Shah. It was his second goal in the tournament.
    But Pakistan never gave up and finally scored off a Sohail Abbas penalty corner in the 60th minute.
                        P  W  D  L  F  A  PTS

N ZEALAND    5   4   0    1    18      7      12
ARGENTINA   5   3    0    2     14    16     9
INDIA            6   3    0    3     12     15      9
BRITAIN         5   2   2    1      11     10     8
S KOREA        5   1    2    2      10      8      5
MALAYSIA      5   1    2    2     10      13     5
PAKISTAN      5   1    0    4     8       14      3

 RESULTS: Britain 1 South Korea 1, Pakistan 1 India 2, New Zealand 4 Malaysia 1.
  JUNE 2: South Korea v New Zealand (4pm), Britain v Pakistan (6pm), Argentina v Malaysia (8pm).