Friday, May 25, 2012

Faizal to the rescue, again...

MALAYSIA pulled off another draw when they held Olympic hosts Britain 3-3 in the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh yesterday.
  After a 1-1 draw with South Korea, Faizal Saari delivered yet again to save the hosts from a certain defeat as the clock showed only three minutes left, when he delivered two super goals.
   It was a bad start for Malaysia as Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin got injured in the second minute after clashing with Richard Smith and needed stitches.
  The Kangar-born player received a cut just above his right eye after hitting into the shoulder of Richard Smith and he had to be stretched out.
  And to make matter worse, four minutes later Britain broke through the Malaysian defense to take the lead through Glenn Kirkham.
  But the national team cheered on by fans, fought back and equalised off their first penalty corner in the ninth minute when Amin Rahim's push from the edge of the semi circle was swept into goal by Azlan Misron.
  Britain who regained the lead in the 20th minute when Ashley Jackson collected a through pass from Nick Catlin before slamming the ball into goal.
   Britain, ranked fourth in the world, punished Malaysian for poor defending by scoring the third goal in 25th minute through Rob Moore from the top of the semicircle.
  Britain then opted for a high press to keep the Malaysian defenders busy. But once the ball broke away, the strikers led by Tajuddin, Faisal Saari and Marhan broke through with ease but were unable to create goal scoring chances.
   And then it was all Faisal as he reduced the deficit in the 67th minute with a stupendous reverse before leveling the match in the very next minute, also through a reverse hit.
  "We play to win in every match, but have two draws instead. It is not too bad, as we are playing against higher ranked teams," said coach Tai Beng Hai.
   New Zealand tightened their grip on the title when they beat Argentina 5-2 for full points from two matches.
  Fresh from their 5-1 win over India on Thursday, New Zealand were in an uncompromising mood, and were only guilty of muffing the penalty corners, as they scored two from the ten they were awarded.
  Argentina went ahead in the third minute off Lucas Cammareri but the Kiwis drew level in the 33rd minute when Phil Burrows turned in a cross.
   New Zealand took the lead offf Richard Petherick (44th), only to see Argentina equalise off Lucas Vila (52nd).
   The Kiwi winners were scored by Andy Hayward (59th), Shay Neal(61st) and Arun Panchia (64th).

            P  W  D  L  F  A  PTS

N ZEALAND   2  2  0  0  10 3  6
PAKISTAN    1  1  0  0  4  2  3

INDIA       1  1  0  1  3  6  3
MALAYSIA    2  0  2  0  4  4  2
BRITAIN     1  0  1  0  3  3  1
S KOREA     2  0  1  1  2  3  1
ARGENTINA   2  0  0  2  4  9  0

RESULTS: New Zealand 5 Argentina 2, Britain 3 Malaysia 3, South Korea 1 India 2.
    SUNDAY: New Zealand v Pakistan (4pm), South Korea v Argentina (6pm), Britain v India (8pm).
    MAY 28: South Korea v Pakistan (4pm), Britain v Argentina (6pm), India v Malaysia (8pm).
     MAY 30:  Argentina  v  India (4pm), Britain v New Zealand (6pm), Pakistan  v Malaysia (8pm).
     MAY 31: Britain v South Korea (4pm), Pakistan v India (6pm), New Zealand  v  Malaysia (8pm).
     JUNE 2: South Korea v New Zealand (4pm), Britain v Pakistan (6pm), Argentina v Malaysia (8pm).