Thursday, May 12, 2011

Malaysia 3 Korea 1

MALAYSIA played brilliant hockey in the second half to beat South Korea 3-1 for their first three points in the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh yesterday.
And now, after a day's rest, they must beat Pakistan and hope the Koreans lose to Great Britain so that they do not end as wooden spoonists.
Malaysia survived a penalty stroke, but let in a soft penalty corner instead in the first half when they again played in patches.
A seventh minute blunder by Shukri Mutalib, who shoved down a Korean in the semi-circle, led to Japanese umpire Satoshi Kondo blowing for a penalty stroke.
Jang Jong Hyun moved to the spot but his flick was well saved by Malaysian goalkeeper S. Kumar with the tip of his pads.
However, the golden save was shattered to pieces, when Nam Hyun Woo scores off a grounder attempt in a 17th minute penalty corner.
Both Malaysia's penalty corners went to waste.
There was more commitment in the seond half, and it produced a super goal from Nabil Fiqri in the 43rd minute.
The hard-work of racing down the flank and making a deft pass was done by Izwan Firdaus, and Nabil colelcted the ball on the reverse and with hardly an angle to score, but reverse stick shot found the gap and Malaysia were back in the picture.
And in the 58th minute, a super run down the flank Hafifihafiz Hanafi saw the ball meeting an unmarked Faizal Saari, and Malaysia finally took the lead.
Malaysia played like men possed after taking the lead, and in the 67th minute Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin set-up Izwan Firdaus for the third goal, and Malaysia colelcted their first three points of the tournament.
In another match, New Zealand came back from behind thrice, after which they went full steam ahead to humiliate India 7-3. It was the biggest win for the Kiwis in their 65 meetings against India since 1935.
Prior to this, the wins by New Zealand over India were one goal margins, except for the match in Antwerp in 2007 where New Zealand won 2-0.
The Kiwi goals were scored by Nicholas Wilson (24th), Blair Hilton (32nd, 64th), Andrew Hayward (46th, 57th), Matt L'huiller (52nd), Neal Shay (58th).

India got their goals off Sowmarpet Sunil (20th), Gurwinder Singh (26th, 41st).

First three points..


P W D L F A Pts
AUSTRALIA 5 4 1 0 14 6 13
BRITAIN 5 3 0 2 11 9 9
PAKISTAN 5 3 0 2 14 13 9
N ZEALAND 5 2 1 2 14 13 7
INDIA 6 2 1 3 15 17 7
KOREA 5 1 1 2 9 14 4
MALAYSIA 5 1 0 4 9 14 3

RESULTS -- Australia 2 Great Britain 1, New Zealand 7 India 3, Korea 1
Malaysia 3.
MAY 14 -- Great Britain v South Korea (4pm), Pakistan v Malaysia (6pm),
Australia v New Zealand (8pm).
MAY 15 -- Fifth-Sixth (4pm), Third-Fourth (6pm); Final (8.30pm).

New Zealand 7 India 3


Australia claim one final ticket

AUSTRALIA booked their slot in the final with a game to spare when they beat Great Britain 2-1 in the Azlan Shah Cup yesterday.
The World Cup, Champions Trophy and Commonwealth Games holders made it look like its just another day in the office with goals from Brent Dancer in the eight minute and Christopher Cirello in the 29th minute. Britain tried to make a come-back, but could only score one off Richard Mantell in the 57th minute.
However, the win, according to Australian coach Ric Charlesworth was made much more difficult by poor umpiring.
"I made a mistake of praising the umpires earlier, because some of the decisions taken today made our match that much harder.
"I believe all the decisions to award penalty corners against us were for infringements outside the semi-circle, and they were dubious. The umpires just had their own interpretations of the rules," said Ric.
Ric also said even though they have achieved their target, they still have traditional rivals New Zealand to play.
"When we arrived, we had planned to play in the last match on Sunday (final) and achieved it. But still, there is one more match against our traditional rivals New Zealand, so there would be no rest until after the final game," said Ric.
As for Great Britain player and England skipper James Tindall, they lost the match because they gave the Aussies too much of respect.
"We lost the match in the first five minutes itself, as we gave them too much respect. We knew it would not be an easy match, as they are the world champions, but still, we did not play our usual self, and paid the price for it," said Glenn
With only one final spot remaining, Great Britain, Pakistan and New Zealand will have to bring out their best to claim it.