MALAYSIA were soundly beaten 3-1 by South Korea in Group B of the Champions Challenge I in Kuantan, Pahang yesterday.
After a break today, they play Canada next and it will not be an easy match as yesterday, the Canadians beat France 3-2. For the record, Malaysia had lost to France on Friday by the same margin.
However, the tournament format will see all eight teams from Group A and Group B play in the quarter-finals, and Malaysia might just draw the short straw and play against raging favourites New Zealand in the cross-over if they end at the bottom of the pool.
Coach K. Dharmaraj's men went looking for an early lead but found the going tough as the forward-line lacked direction in the first 10 minutes of the match.
However, 12 minutes into the match Malaysian won their first penalty corner and Ahmad Kazamirul sailed it over the top of the bar.
The Koreans soaked in the pressure and relied on counters, and finally won their first penalty corner in the 18th minute and Nam Hyun Woo made it count with a low push to the board for the lead.
Malaysia had two more penalty corners to draw level, but Shahril Saabah's mammoth drive hit the post and came rocketing out in the 21st, while Kazamirul's attempt in the 32nd minute was saved by goalkeeper Lee Myung Ho.
Two minutes into the re-start, You Hyo Sik made it 2-0 with a reverse stick drive which went between the legs of goalkeeper S. Kumar.
And by the 50th minute, Korea completed the rout with another penalty corner goal from Jang Jong Hyun. Ismail Abu scored the consolation in the 67th minute for Malaysia.
P W D L F A PTS
N ZEALAND 2 2 0 0 8 2 6
POLAND 2 1 0 1 4 4 3
JAPAN 2 1 0 1 4 8 3
IRELAND 2 0 0 2 2 4 0
P W D L F A PTS
CANADA 2 1 1 0 6 5 4
S KOREA 2 1 1 0 6 4 4
FRANCE 2 1 0 1 5 5 3
MALAYSIA 2 0 0 2 3 6 0
RESULTS -- Group A: Japan 1 New Zealand 6, Ireland 1 Poland 2.
Group B: Canada 3 France 2, Malaysia 1 South Korea 3.
April 28: REST DAY.
April 29: Group A: Ireland v Japan (5pm), New Zealand v Poland (7pm).
Group B: South Korea v France (3pm), Canada v Malaysia (9pm).