Monday, November 26, 2012
THE Malaysian hockey team surprised all and sundry when they beat world No 7 South Korea 4-1 in the Champions Challenge I in Buenos Airs, Argentina, on Sunday night.
And now Paul Revington’s men, No 13 in the world, are sitting pretty at the top of Group A on six points, after having disposed Poland 4-0 in their first match.
Their last group match tonight is against Canada, where even a draw will still place them at the top, with a likely crossover meeting against either South Africa or Ireland in the quarter-finals.
All eight teams advance to the last-eight, but only the champion will make the Champions Trophy grade.
Yesterday. South Korea took an early lead, but Malaysia powered ahead with four goals, before the Koreans scored their second.
Razie Rahim made sure in the 18th minute, off a penalty corner, to draw level with South Korea, and two quick goals in the 30th and 31st minutes by Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin saw Malaysia take a 3-1 lead into the breather.
And Chua Boon Huat made it 4-1 in the 48th minute, and the game was won before Korea’s Jang Jong Hyun scored his brace.
For the record, all four Korean goals to date in the tournament, including the 2-0 win against Canada, were scored by Jang off penalty corners.
Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, 26 and with 197 caps said: “I think we played well most of the match, except for the last 20 minutes where we were struggling to maintain our performance.
“The score looks good, but we are not satisfied of our overall performance. There are many more areas to improve in our last group match against Canada.”
However, Revington was pleased with his charges show against Korea.\
“We finished the game pleased with the fact that we won it 4-2. Even though the players are disappointed on how they played for the last 10 minutes of the match, but I am pleased and proud of them, for their overall performance in the two games, as they have shown marked improvement,”
RESULTS: Group A -- Malaysia 4 South Korea 2, Canada 3 Poland 3.
Group B: Japan 3 Ireland 0, Argentina 2 South Africa 1.
TODAY: Group A: South Korea v Poland, Malaysia v Canada (10pm Malaysian time).
Group B: Ireland v South Africa, Argentina v Japan.
P W D L F A Pts
Malaysia 2 2 0 0 8 2 6
Korea 2 1 0 1 4 4 3
Canada 2 0 1 1 3 5 1
Poland 2 0 1 1 3 7 1
P W D L F A Pts
Argentina 2 2 0 0 6 4 6
Japan 2 1 1 0 7 4 4
South Africa 2 0 1 1 5 6 1
Ireland 2 0 0 2 3 7 0