Saturday, October 17, 2015

SOJC: Now to keep bronze in Malaysia

MALAYSIA beat Pakistan 3-1 to book a date with Argentina in the third-fourth playoff of the Sultan of Johor Cup at the Taman Daya Stadium Saturday.
  In the pool match, Malaysia and Argentina drew 2-2, but the bronze battle is expected to be tougher.
  India and Britain will play for the Fifth Edition gold.
  "This is the kind of commitment I am looking from my players in no only the remaining match against Argentina, but also in the Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan.
  "My boys took an early lead, and played well to defend it even though Pakistan placed them under tremendous pressure. Of course, we will be going for the bronze medal now, and Argentina are not invincible if we play our game," said Malaysian coach Arul Selvaraj.
  Malaysia scored two quick goals inside eight minutes to take a firm grip of the situation, and remained cool in the entire first half to deny Pakistan a comeback.
  Off the three penalty corners won in the first half, Shahril Saabah scored the first in the fourth, missed the second, and Najmi Jazlan tucked in the third penalty corner in the seventh minute.
  With a good lead, Malaysia toyed around with Pakistan and only relied on counter attacks, but could not increase the lead.
  Pakistan were the better team after the 10 minute break, but good goalkeeping from Ridzwan Azmi kept the score in favour of Malaysia.
  Shahril scored his seventh goal of the tournament to hand Malaysia a handsome lead, with a reverse stick attempt in the 62nd minute and Pakistan were doomed to play for the fifth-sixth against Australia.
  Pakistan scored their consolation in the 68th off Abu Mahmood, but time ran out on them. A final minute shoving and pushing saw Shahril and Pakistan goalkeeper Muhammad Khalid flashed the yellow card -- but it made no difference to the scoreline.
  India will play Britain in a repeat final, and a chance to lift a hat-trick of SOJC titles.
  Yesterday, Britain beat Argentina 3-0 while India beat Australia 1-0 in their final pool matches.
  In the final last year, the score was tied at 1-1 before India scored 45 seconds from time to lift their second title.
  "It will be a well contested final, as both teams are at their best right now. Britain has good structure, and my players must think out of the box to win," said India coach Harendra Singh.
  In the pool, India lost 3-4 to Britain.
  RESULTS: Argentina 0 Britain 3, Australia 0 India 1, Malaysia 3 Pakistan 1.
   TODAY: Fifth-Sixth: Pakistan v Australia (3.05pm); Third-Fourth: Malaysia v Argentina (5.35pm); Final: India v Britain (8.35pm).

               P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
INDIA          5  4  0  1  14 8  12
BRITAIN        5  3  2  0  15 9  11
MALAYSIA       5  2  1  2  11 11 7
ARGENTINA      5  2  1  2  8  9  7
AUSTRALIA      5  1  1  3  12 11 4
PAKISTAN       5  0  1  4  5  17 1