WORLD No 12 Malaysia gave world No 4 Belgium a tough time before being edged out 2-0 in the World League Semi-finals in Antwerp, Belgium yesterday.
However, it was a match which Malaysia were not expected to collect any points, and are already in the quarter-finals after beating china 3-2 and Ireland 4-2.
Malaysia took the game to Belgium in the first quarter, when they did not give away a single penalty corner or even shot at goal, and protected goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin with determined defending.
The national players played without fear, and had numerous semi-circle penetrations, but Belgium stood their ground as well.
The second quarter saw Malaysia defending in numbers and Belgium won their first penalty corner in the 27th and Tanguy Cosyns' high and powerful flick was easily palmed away by Roslan.
However, Belgium finally got their act together in the 37th minute when a lapse in defense saw Dorian Thiery score from close range.
And goal number number two followed suit the very next minute, when Gauthier Gougnard tapped in an airborne ball.
Malaysia won their first penalty corner of the match in the 50th minute, but Razie fails to convert, and the score stood until the final whistle.
RESULTS: Group A: Pakistan 2 India 2; Group B: Ireland 6 China 0, Malaysia 0 Belgium 2.