MALAYSIA wrap-up their Azlan Shah Cup pool fixtures against Argentina today, and a defeat might see them having a rest day on Sunday.
Malaysia, who finished seventh last year, might just end up with the same number if Pakistan and South Korea win their matches.
And there is no classification match for the seventh placed team on Sunday.
“It will be a difficult as Argentina would be looking to play in their second Azlan Shah Cup final. We can’t afford to let in easy goals and then chase in the second half, that will have to change tomorrow (today),” said Malaysian coach Tai Beng Hai who is staring at his last assignment as the Malaysian Hockey Confederation scout for a foreign replacement.
For the record, Malaysia came back from behind to hold South Korea 1-1, then another comeback to hold Britain 3-3 and finally their third comeback to beat Pakistan 3-2.
And the last time Malaysia played Argentina was in the Champions Challenge where Beng Hai’s men took a 2-0 lead only to collapse 5-2.
“We have much in stake in the final encounter as a win will not only give us a middle finish, but also pave the way for India to pip Argentina into the final,” said
New Zealand have already checked into the final on 12 points with a South Korea match in hand today, so they will not push themselves to the limit with 24 hours to the title battle.
For the record, it is the first final Azlan Shah Cup appearance for the Kiwis, while Argentina has won the title in 2008.
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
JUNE 2: South Korea v New Zealand (4pm), Britain v Pakistan (6pm), Argentina v Malaysia (8pm).