Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sultan of Johor Cup: Malaysia Champions!

CAPTAIN marvel Noor Faeez Ibrahim rallied his men to lift the inaugural Sultan of Johor Cup when he scored a brace to beat Austraalia 3-2 in extra-time at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru yesterday.
Australia took the lead, but Fitri Saari closed the gap, only to see the Aussies re-gained the lead.
But Noor Faeez first struck in the 69th minute to equalise, and then scored the golden goal to send the 8,000 crowd into wild celebrations.
Both teams started nervously, as expected in a junior final, but when Australia scored in the 11th minute, the match turned into an exciting battle for the inaugural title.
Australia struck as the Malaysian defenders backtracked and allowed Wotherspoon to run into the semi circle unchecked and slot in the ball past goalkeeper Hazrul Faiz.
The capacity crowd, which had filled the stadium since 6pm, suddenly went mute, and there was pin drop silence in the stadium.
Malaysia then bungled two sitters and two penalty corners in the remaining minutes, while Australia also had a fair share of shots at goal, but heroic saves by Hazrul kept the hosts in the picture going into the breather.
The second hald again saw Malaysia missing a handful of sitters, but the strikers started to make inroads, and Australia looked like they were in for a surprise.
And the moment came in the 43rd minute, when Fitri Saari, the brother of senior striker Faizal, nailed the equaliser.
It was a clasic goal, as Fitri took matters into his own hands and dribbled into the semi-circle, and just as he stepped inside, he unleashed a reverse-stick shot which sent the ball crashing into the net and crowd into wild celebrations.
But Australia almost doused the comeback in the 59th minute, and this time the Down Under hero was Jack Wallace.
However, Malaysian skipper Noor Faeez refused to give up, and scored the 2-2 equaliser off a penalty corner in the 69th minute to take the match into sudden-death extra-time.
And Noor Faeez he again delivered in the third minute of the sudden-death, to hand Malaysia the inaugural title on a 3-2 score.
In the bronze battle, South Korea had to dig deep into their reserves to beat India on a golden goal.
The match ended 3-3, after Korea bungled a penalty stroke won 50 seconds from regulation time, when Yang Ji Hun's attempt was saved by goalkeeper Harmanpreet Singh.
But Ji Hun made amends to score the golden goal when Korea were awarded a penalty corner 40 seconds before the end of the first half of extra time.
Pakistan ended fifth when they beat New Zealand 2-0 with goals from Muhammad Dilber (31st) and Muhammad Umair (40th). In the preliminary stage New Zealand had beaten Pakistan 1-0.
TODAY: Final -- Malaysia 2 Australia 2 (Malaysia win on sudden-death goal); Third-Fourth: South Korea 3 India 3 (Korea win on golden goal); Fifth-Sixth: Pakistan 2 New Zealand 0.

Korea snatch bronze

Korea needed a golden goal to subdue India in the fight for the 3rd and 4th spot in the Sultan of Johor Cup at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium. Though Korea were 2-0 up, India fought back gallantly to draw level on two occasions, only to lose out in extra time.
Korea opened scoring in the 7th minute through You Seung Seok who powered a drag flick into the roof of the Indian net. And in the 13th minute Korea went 2-0 ahead thanks to Yoon Dong Hyeon who scored his sixth goal of the tournament.
India were shocked and reduced the deficit when Harpreet Singh converted a penalty stroke. And in the 28th minute India were on level terms when Amit Rohidass converted a penalty stroke.
And India could well have taken the lead in the 30th minute but the effort by Devinder Sunil Walkimi hit the upright and bounced to safety.
Korea struck as soon as the second half began as Yoon Dong Hyeon waltzed through the centre of defence and squared the ball to Hyun Ji Gwang who had the simplest of tasks to scores with Indian custodian Harmanpreet Singh caught out of position.
Though Korea created several chances, including being awarded three penalty corners, they failed to capitalise and that allowed India a second bite at the cherry. And they duly scored the equaliser in the 64th minute through Satbir Singh.
Korea had a chance to seal it in the final minute when they were awarded a penalty stroke 50 seconds from time, but skipper Yang Ji Hun failed to beat Harmanpreet and the match went into extra time.
Korea were awarded a penalty corner 40 seconds before the end of the first half of extra time, and this time Ji Hun made sure that his team finished on the podium with a golden goal winner
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Pakistan finish fifth

Pakistan finished fifth in the Sultan Johor Cup when they defeated New Zealand 2-0 at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Bahru. It was Pakistan's second win in the tournament having beaten Australia 3-2 the previous day.
In the preliminary stage New Zealand had beaten Pakistan 1-0.
The match was played under a steady drizzle but that did not affect both teams as they displayed open hockey.
Pakistan opened scoring in the 31st minute via Muhammad Dilber. And they doubled their advantage in the 40th minute through Muhammad Umair.