Friday, May 5, 2017

DAY OF UPSETS: Malaysia deny India spot in final

MALAYSIA played their hearts out to beat India 1-0 and deny them a place in the final of the Azlan Shah Cup.
  India needed to win the match to join Australia in the final Saturday, but Malaysia handed the spot to Britain instead.
  The solitary goal came off Malaysia's fourth penalty corner when Shahril Saabah drove home the ball in the 50th minute.
  And Japan showed their intentions to claim the Fifth-Sixth playoff against Malaysia when they came back from two goals down to beat Australia 3-2.
  In the group stage, Malaysia were held 1-1 by Japan.
  Australia, who were already in the final, toyed around and paid the price in the fourth quarter.
  Jeremy Edwards (seventh) and Trent Mitton (31st) gave Australia a healthy lead, which is normally enough for them to wrap up the match.
  However, a fightback from Shota Yamada in the 44th minute led to Koji Yamasaki scoring two famous goals in the 56th and 57th minutes for a historical victory.
  Japan coach Takahiko Yamabori celebrated his country's first ever win over Australia by thanking hosts Malaysia.
  "I would like to thank Malaysia for inviting us to this tournament and as the lowest ranked team, we got the opportunity to play against world class sides to improve our game.
  "This chance to play against New Zealand (lost 3-2) and Australia is also important because these teams are with us in Group A in the World League Semifinals in Johannesburg.
  "We hope to carry forward this momentum and beat Australia and New Zealand when we play then again (in Johannesburg on July 8-23)," said Yamabori.
   As for their Fifth-Sixth match against Malaysia, Yamabori said they will challenge the higher ranked team.
  "We came here to challenge teams which are higher ranked than us and that's what we will do against Malaysia in the placing match."
   Malaysia are 14th, Australia No 2 while Japan are 16th in the world.
   RESULTS: Britain 3 New Zealand 2, Australia 2 Japan 3, Malaysia 1 India 1.
  SATURDAY: Final: Australia v Britain (8.35pm); Third-Fourth: New Zealand v India (6.05pm); Fifth-Sixth: Malaysia v Japan (3.40pm)


           P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
AUSTRALIA  5  3  1  1  14 7  10
BRITAIN    5  3  1  1  12 9  10
INDIA      5  2  1  2  10 9  7
N ZEALAND  5  2  1  2  7  9  7
JAPAN      5  1  1  3  12 15 4
MALAYSIA   5  1  1  3  3  9  4