Sunday, March 17, 2013

It was not to be...

MALAYSIA gave their all, but world No 2 Australia survived the onslaught and lifted their seventh Azlan Shah Cup with a last minute goal to win 3-2.
  The score stood at 2-2 and the clock showed three more seconds to sudden-death extra-time, but it was not to be as Trent Mitton broke the hearts of more than 20,000 people who were in and around the stadium.
  Two hours before the final, the Azlan Shah Stadium was packed to the brim with more than 15,000 fans, while those who could not squeeze in, made themselves comfortable at the big screen set up just outside the stadium.
  The atmosphere was electrical, with marching bands, vuvuzelas and cheering fans celebrating hours before Malaysia entered the pitch to play the World No 2.
  For the record, this is only the fourth final which Malaysia is playing in, after 22 Editions and 30 years. The other three were in
1985, 2007 and 2009; and only produced silver medals. Malaysia lost to India, Australia and India again in the other three finals.
  And Faizal Saari did not disappoint his fans, as it was only the fourth minute, and Malaysia won back-to-back penalty corners, when Faizal flicked home the lead and his sixth goal of the tournament.
  Malaysia were in control of the match, with Faiz Helmi and Faizal making inroads, while Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin could hardly move due to tight marking.
  But Just as the Malaysian players were getting comfortable, Australia won their first penalty corner of the half, and Nicholas Budgeon equalises in the 29th minute, while Craig Boyne makes it 2-1 for the Aussies off a field goal in the 30th minute.
  Malaysia were not broken, and won two penalty corners in the first five minutes after the breal, but Razie Rahim flicks it wide to the left, and then Faizal flicked it wide to the right.
  The crowd were solidly behind their men in yellow, and in the 49th minute a Marhan Jalil cross was cooly converted by Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin and it was game on again.
  Australia used their might, their height and all they had, but Malaysia refuse to let in the third goal.
  But with three seconds on the clock, Malaysia were dealt a cruel blow as a powerfull drive taken by Trent Mitton graze the post and went sailing in for their seventh Azlan Shah Cup title.
  RESULTS: Final -- Malaysia 2 Australia 3; Third-Fourth: New Zealand 1 South Korea 2; Fifth-Sixth: India 4 Pakistan 2.

Malaysia 1 Australia 0 (nine mins to half-time)

Korea 3rd, India 5th..

SOUTH Korea lifted the Azlan Shah Cup bronze medal when they beat a last year's champions New Zealand 2-1.
  South Korea took the lead off Hyun Hye Sung in the 33rd minute, but New Zealand equalsied off Stephen Jenness in the 41st minute.
  The winner was delivered by Nam Hyun Woo in the 58th minute.
  In the earlier match, India beat Pakistan 4-2 to claim the fifth spot, and it was their second win against their neighbours, as they also won 3-1 in the group stage.
  Pakistan took the lead through Muhammad Imran off their first penalty corner in the eigtht minutes, after the flicker opted to push low on the keepers right instead of his normal high left.
  But India hit back in the 16th minute through Rupinder Pal Singh, also off a penalty corner.
  Just when it looked that the two teams will walk off the pitch on level terms, India scored their second as Akashdeep Singh put the final touches to a pass from Mandeep Singh, just 35 seconds from the hooter.
  India went 3-1 up in the 43rd minute as Malak Singh deflected the ball past Imran but Pakistan reduced the deficit three minutes later, also through a deflection by Khasif Shah.
  India were awarded a penalty stroke in the 62nd minute which was converted by Rupinder Pal, who scored a total of six goals in the tournament.