Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Malaysia-New Zealand quarter-finals

MALAYSIA won their first match when they beat Canada 4-3, but still ended last in Group B and will meet tournament favourites New Zealand in the quarter-finals of the Champions Challenge 1 in Kuantan tomorrow.
   Malaysia needed three clear goals to avoid the Kiwis in the cross-over, and they started attacking Canada from the first whistle, but were instead hit by the Canadians.
   The clock only showed three minutes when Canada won their first penalty corner, which was turned into a penalty stroke when the ball hit a defender's leg.
   Canadian skipper Scott Tupper stepped up and beat goalkeeper S. Kumar from the spot in the fourth minute.
   The fans went silent, but only for a minute as a full charge in the fifth minute saw Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin slamming the ball to the roof of the Canadian goalmouth for the equaliser.
   Shahril Saabah provided the spark when he gave Malaysia the lead off their first penalty corner in the 19th minute with a powerful drive which looked like it was going to tear the netting apart.
    But the Canadians refuse to be broken and in the 30th minute, Gabriel Ho-Garcia slapped home the equaliser when there was momentary confusion among the Malaysian defenders, and the 2-2 score stood until the hooter.
    Shahril delivered again off a penalty corner attempt in the 40th minute, but Tupper again scored off a penalty stroke in the 54th minute to make it 3-3.
   Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin then makes it 4-3 with a reverse stick drive in the 55th minute.


                             P  W  D  L  F  A  PTS
N ZEALAND         3   3   0   0  16  5   9
IRELAND             3   1   0   2  3   4   3
POLAND              3   1   0   2  7   12  3
JAPAN                 3   1   0   2  4   9   3


                     P  W  D  L  F  A  PTS
S KOREA      3   2   1   0  9   6   7
CANADA       3   1   1   1  9   9   4
FRANCE        3   1   0   2  7  8   3
MALAYSIA   3   1   0   2  7   9   3

    RESULTS -- Group A: Ireland 1 Japan 0, New Zealand 8 Poland 3.
    Group B: South Korea 3 France 2, Canada 3 Malaysia 4.
    MAY 1: Quarter-finals -- New Zealand v Malaysia (2.45pm); Canada v Poland (5pm); Ireland v France (7.15pm); South Korea v Japan (9.30pm).