Friday, June 1, 2012

Take Argies or go bust..

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).