Thursday, December 1, 2011

Malaysia blown away in sudden-death

MALAYSIA lost a two-goal advantage, and then were beaten to the semi-finals by a golden goal from India in the Champions Challenge I in South Africa yesterday.
The 5-4 defeat will now see them play in the fifth-eighth bracket either against Japan or South Africa, who were playing a late quarter-finals match.
Malaysia were in control of the match, but two penalty corner strikes from Sandeep Singh saw them trailing much of the first half.
India only won two penalty corners as they lost the midfield battle, but still Sandeep beat goalkeeper S. Kumar in the eighth and 24 minutes with powerful drag flicks,
Malaysia only won one penalty corner in the 15th minute, but Amin Rahim’s tame flick was parried away easily.
However, with two minutes remaining before the breather, a pass from Shukri Mutalib was connected home by 22-year-old Izwan Firdaus and Malaysia went into the dressing room to plot for more goals.
India, who picked up three yellow cards and one green in 35 minutes, did look more indisciplined than dangerous in their field attacks.
Malaysia rose to the occasion in the second half and scored three goals to take a 4-2 lead, before crumbling in the last 10 minutes of the match to allow India to equalise and take the match into extra-time sudden death.
Azlan Misron scored a field goal in the 42nd to level the score at 2-2, and in the 46th minute Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin took Malaysia to the front for the first time in the match.
Goal number four was duly converted by Azlan in the 56th minute and India looked beaten for the moment.
However, strikes from Sunil Sowmarpet and Yuvraj Walmiki took the match into sudden-death.
And R. Raghunath turned hero for India with a sudden-death goal off a penalty corner attempt after the final extra-time hooter went off.
RESULTS -- Quarter-finals: Malaysia 4 India 5 (sudden-death goal), Belgium 4 Canada 0, Poland 1 Argentina 5; South Africa 3 Japan 2.