Friday, August 30, 2013

India 2 Malaysia 0

MALAYSIA let slip another chance to touch the Asia Cup trophy when they bungled
more than 10 sitters to hand the final slot to India 2-0 at the Azlan Shah Stadium in
Ipoh yesterday.
    There was an inspiring performance from Paul Revington's men, but they just could

not score while India had to bring out their best to play in the final against South
Korea tomorrow.
   The national team will now play for bronze, against Pakistan, who will not feature in

the World Cup for the first time since its inception in 1971.
    "I'm sorry that Pakistan will not play in the World Cup, but at the same time

congratulations to Malaysia and India. Malaysia will be back in the World Cup after 12
years, and they have worked hard for it," said Korean coach Shin Seok Kyo.
   As for Malaysian coach Paul Revington: "I'm very disappointed with the defeat, as we

created the chances, but did not take them. Now, I will have to motivate the players to
go for the bronze, as that is the only option left."
   A good 30 minutes before the match started, the Malaysian flag was displayed on the

scoreboard and patriotic Merdeka songs were played to whip up the capacity crowd.
   And Malaysia started on a sizzling note, as in the first two minutes itself, Faizal

Saari and Nabil Fiqri blazed into the semi-circle, but their shots were just inches wide.
   South Korea had beaten Pakistan 2-1 in the earlier semi-finals, a result which took

India into the World Cup going by the World League reserve list, and so the second
semi-finals was reduced to the Asia Cup title battle.
   The world League format saw three Asian teams qualify for the Netherlands World

Cup next year -- Korea, Malaysia and India.
   Pakistan, four-time World Cup champions, will sit out for the first time since its

inception in 1971.
   In the first semi-finals, the Korean goals were scored by Jang Jong Hyun (31st) and

Lee Nam Young (40th) while the Pakistan goal was scored by Muhammad Imran (46ht).
    Malaysia looked more determined, but it was India who nailed the first goal off their

first penalty corner in the eighth minute when VR Raghunath nailed his sixth goal of
the tournament.
     There was never a dull moment  20 minutes into the match, as Malaysia went for

the equaliser but miss again as Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin's shot is also just wide, and
the tale of misses continued until the half-time as Malaysia even failed to win a single
penalty corner.
    After the break, Malaysia kept up the pressure and after another handful of bungled

attempts, they finally win their first penalty corner of the match in the 45th minute.
    The ball hits an Indian runners leg and there was a follow on penalty corner but

goalkeeper PR Sreejesh brings out a super save when Razie Rahim made the second
     The Malaysian forwardline kept bungling sitters, and in the 60th minute Mandeep

Singh had the easiest task of tapping in the ball from close range to increase the lead
to 2-0.
   RESULTS: Semi-finals -- Pakistan 1 South Korea 2; Malaysia 0 India 2.
   Fifth-Eighth: Japan 3 Bangladesh 0, Oman 2 Taiwan 2 (Oman win shoot-out).
   SATURDAY: Fifth-Sixth -- Japan v Oman (8pm); Seventh-Eighth: Taiwan v Bangladesh

   SUNDAY: Final -- South Korea v India (8pm); Third-Fourth: Pakistan v Malaysia