MALAYSIA played like Tigers to tame Ireland 4-2 and qualify for the quarter-finals of the World League Semi-finals in Antwerp, Belgium yesterday.
Only four out of the five teams in each group advance to the knock-out stage, and it looks like in Group B Ireland and China will battle for the fourth spot.
With six points from two matches, Malaysia have a good chance to finish either second or third in Group B, which will surely avoid world No 1 Australia in the quarter-finals.
With matches against Belgium today and Britain Sunday, Malaysia can afford to blow both and still finish third as China have lost two matches to date.
Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin played his 100th cap today, and he was as impressive as ever.
The first quarter belonged to Malaysia as they pressed hard and scored off their first penalty corner. Razie Rahaim's rebound saw Izwan Firdaus score a rebound goal in the 12th minute.
However, two minutes later Ireland equalised with a cheeky goal from Peter Caruth who touched an airborne ball to deflect it past goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin.
Ireland started the second quarter by losing their video referral, when they protested Malaysia's second penalty corner. And this time Razie made sure with a push which went past goalkeeper Harte David in the 16th minute.
The low push was used as Harte is a 6' 5" giant who is difficult to beat with high flicks.
Ireland used the same low trick to equalise off their first penalty corner in the 18th minute when Shane O'Donoghue grounder beat Roslan.
Deadlocked at 2-2 Malaysia went into the half-time dressing room in a fiery mood.
And the dressing room pep-talk saw results as Malaysia played with much more determination and in the 38th minute, re-took the lead at 3-2.
This time Faizal Saari took the penalty corner and when the ball rebounded off goalkeeper Harte, Shukri Mutalib sent it crashing in with a diving attempt.
Malaysia could have taken a comfortable lead but with seven minutes remaining on the clock Razie Rahim missed a penalty stroke.
But Izwan Firdaus, nick named Pak Din, makes sure Malaysia win the match 4-2 with a 65th minute field goal -- his second of the match.
Meanwhile, Malaysia will play Belgim today (Friday) with one player in mind --- Tom Boon.
The Belgian destroyed Malaysia in the Netherlands World Cup by scoring four goals in their 6-2 win. Razie Rahim scored both of Malaysia's goals off penalty corner attempt and he will also be on the Belgian mind and game plan to stop Malaysia.
Malaysia took the lead and were at one stage at 2-2 but Boon killed the game.
In this tournament Belgium drew 2-2with Britain and scalped China 6-0 but Boon has yet to get into the scoring act.
Speaking after the China match, Red Lions striker Tom Boon said: "We came good in the end and we had some good periods, but we cannot forget that we also had some bad spells too. We want to win every game so now we will look forward to our next match against Malaysia. All of the teams from Asia are getting better and we cannot underestimate any of them. We need to fight as hard as we can, and if we do that we will have a good chance to win.”