MALAYSIA gave away a total of 11 penalty corners and went down 8-3 to World No 1 Australia in the final of the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh yesterday.
Five of the Aussie goals were off penalty corners, with Chris Ciriello scoring four, to claim their eight gold medal.
Coach K. Dharmaraj's men, however deserve credit, as from the six goals
that Australia let in, in the entire tournament, Malaysia had their
name on five. The other one belonged to South Korea.
It was a
mismatch from the start as World No 1 Australia went for an early kill,
and it was only 11 minutes into the match when they took a 2-0 lead.
The first penalty corner saw Chris Ciriello, No 5, scoring off a low
push to the board in the fifth minute, and like synchronised clockwork
to their jersey numbers, No 11 Eddie Ockenden scored a field goal in the
And by the 17th minute, Australia had almost sealed
the match when Ciriello scored his brace off a penalty corner, for his
fifth goal of the tournament.
Malaysia could only defend for the
next five minutes, as even the task of taking the ball out of their own
semi-circle started to look like an impossible task.
got a break in the 23rd minute, when Firhan Ashaari was brought down,
and the first penalty corner was awarded. Faizal Saari took the flick,
and when it bounced off goalkeeper Andrew Charter, Shahril Saabah
hammered home the rebound like a cricket shot which narrowed the gap.
Australia went in a rampage again, but goalkeeper Hafizuddin Othman was
better prepared this time, and at the break, Australia only had a
Malaysia started agressively looking to narrow the
gap, and found their second penalty corner in the 37th minute, but
Faizal Saari's approach was easily stopped, but still, the second goal
did come their way.
This time, Izzat Hakimi took a free hit from
outside the semi-circle, and Rashid Baharom connected home in the 40th
minte and the crowd went wild with celebrations.
But two minutes later, Ciriello broke their hearts for the third time, as he nailed a hat-trick of penalty corner goals.
Again, Australia took the lead at 4-2, but there was still 26 minutes
to play, with Malaysia being very generous in giving away penalty
It was penalty corner No 9, when another low flick saw
Nicholas Budgeon's ball trickle and gently slam onto the board to make
And penalty corner No 10 saw Ciriello score his fourth
goal in the 52nd minute, and Matt Ghodes scores No 7 in the 65th minute.
Fitri Saari made the score respectable with a field goal in the 67th
minute, but Tristen White made it 8-3 in the 68th minute.
RESULTS -- Final: Australia 8 Malaysia 3; Third-Fourth: South Korea 3 China 2; Fifth-Sixth: Canada 2 South Africa 0.
ROLL OF HONOUR
Player-of-the-tournament: Mark Knowles (Aust, Captain)
Fairplay: South Korea.
Man-of-the-Match: Chris Ciriello (Australia).
Best Goalkeeper: Lee Myung Ho (S Korea).
Top Goalscorer: Nicholas Budgeon (Aust, 8 goals).