Saturday, April 9, 2016

Australia's three-minute blitz...

MALAYSIA were beaten 5-1 by World No 1 Australia in a three-minute blitz, in the 25th Edition of the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh yesterday.
  Otherwise, the national players played well to contain more than a dozen deadly attacks from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics favourites.
  "I have no complaints on this match as my players gave their best but lost out in a three-minute lapse of concentration. My players also did not defend the entire game but came out and played good hockey upfront.
  "The next match against Canada on Tuesday will be after a two-day rest and I believe we will make amends to keep ourselves afloat in this tournament," said Malaysian coach Stephen van Huizen.
  Australia skipper Mark Knowles, who will be playing in his fourth Olympics in Brazil said: "Well this is what we wanted. We got a very good crowd, and a team which was willing to fight with us all the way."
  And he felt the they are on the right track to play in the final: "Ten goals in two matches (they also beat India 5-1) and we are heading in the right direction to play against tough sides like Pakistan and New Zealand."
  The Azlan Shah Stadium was filled to the brim, with fans sitting and standing elbow-to-elbow. The cheering, drums and vuvuzelas were deafening, as they cheered on the hosts who held Australia at bay in the first quarter.
  It was 15 minutes of 'hell' as Australia took at least eight shots at the Malaysian goalmouth, but stout defending, and good goalkeeping by Hairi Rahman stopped the World No 1.
 And Malaysia did not disappoint their fans, as off their first penalty corner in the 24th minute, Razie Rahim scored and the cheering almost brought down the roof.
  However, Australia quickly re-grouped after that, and a mis-hit by Jacob Whetton in the 26th minute handed them the equaliser.
  At the half-time break, world No 13 Malaysia held the World No 1 at 1-1.
  However, after missing many chances, Australia finally got their world class act together and scored three quick goals to seal the match in the third quarter.
  Two of the goals were scored inside one minute. In the 40th minute, Flynn Ogilvie scored their second goal, and just after the re-start, Matt Ghodes made it 3-1.
  And in the 41st minute, Ogilvie nailed the fourth goal off an easy tap.
  The three-goal blitz was an unkind cut to the national team, who played well for most of the match.
  Thomas Craig made it 5-1 in the 50th minute.
  In another match, defending champions New Zealand made a third-quarter surge to beat Pakistan 5-3.
  The New Zealand goals were scored by Stephen Jenness (11th), Simon Child (19th), Nic Woods (39th, 42nd), Kane Russell (43rd),
  Pakistan got their goals off Arslan Qadir (8th, 52nd) and Irfan Junior (23rd).
  Canada won their first match of the tournament when they beat Japan 3-1.
  The Canada goals were scored by Mark Pearson (34th), Gabriel Ho-Garcia (35th) and Scott Tupper (45th).
  The Japan consolation was scored by Hiroki Sakamoto in the 42nd minute.

             P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
AUSTRALIA    2  2  0  0  10 2  6
N ZEALAND    3  1  2  0  9  7  5
CANADA       3  1  1  1  5  5  4
MALAYSIA     3  1  1  1  8  11 4
PAKISTAN     2  1  0  1  6  6  3
INDIA        2  1  0  1  3  6  3
JAPAN        3  0  0  3  5  9  0
  RESULTS: Japan 1 Canada 3, New Zealand 5 Pakistan 3, Malaysia 1 Australia 5.
  April 10: Japan v New Zealand (4pm), Australia v Pakistan (6pm), Canada v India (8.35pm).