Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Fitness 1 Pakistan 0...

FITNESS helped Malaysia beat Pakistan 1-0 to keep their hopes of a medal finish alive in the 25th Edition of the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh yesterday.
  Armed with a single goal scored in the fourth minute, Malaysia stopped every trick the Pakistan team threw at them to have a better chance of playing for the bronze medal.
  Malaysia took an early lead off their first penalty corner in the fourth minute, but bungled many sitters after that.
  It was Razie Rahim's drive that gave Malaysia some breathing space until the half-time hooter.
  Pakistan's best chance to equalise came in the 33rd minute when Ajaz Ahmad found himself alone with goalkeeper Hairi Rahman after a break-away 20 meter sprint.
  However, Hairi saved the first attempt, and a follow on attempt from Ajaz to deny Pakistan the equaliser.
  Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) technical director Terry Walsh said the national team have completed their Phase One of training, and fitness is now at a higher level.
  "As you can see in all the matches so far, the Malaysian team has been playing on high gear and fitness is no longer a problem. This is the first step towards preparing the team for the World League (which is a World Cup qualifier)," said Walsh who is down in Ipoh.
  Walsh also feels that even though Malaysia have their own style of play, 'it has not been effective in recent tournaments'.
  "The Malaysian style of playing has its own good and bad points, and the next step will be to keep the good and work on eliminating the bad points which have been hindering progress. This will take time, and I believe if we work hard for the next two years there will be results.
  "But for comprehensive results, it will take at least 10 years to work from the bottom to the top. This is because the base (youth) is still the weakest point.
  "We need to have a strong base, and this will take at least a decade," said Walsh.


             P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
AUSTRALIA    5  5  0  0  18 3  15
N ZEALAND    6  3  2  1  15 10 11
INDIA        5  3  0  2  12 10 9
MALAYSIA     5  2  2  1  11 13 8
CANADA       5  1  2  2  8  10 5
PAKISTAN     5  1  0  4  7  16 3
JAPAN        5  0  0  5  7  16 0

  RESULTS: New Zealand 2 India 1, Australia 3 Japan 1, Malaysia 1 Pakistan 0.
  April 14: REST DAY.
  April 15: Japan v Pakistan (4pm), Australia v Canada (6pm), Malaysia v India (8.35pm).
  April 16: Classifications and Final.

Australia check into final...


WORLD No 1 Australia cemented their final spot in the Azlan Shah Cup on Wednesday when they edged Japan 3-1 in Ipoh.
  Australia got their goals off Jamie Dwyer (17th, 36th), Blake Govers (30th).
  Kentaro Fukuda (37th) scored for Japan.

New Zealand 2 India 1


New Zealand beat India 2-1 to step closer to playing in the final on Saturday.
  The defending champions have 11 points after completing their pool fixtures. The Kiwi goals were scored by Kane Russell (28th) and Nick Wilson (41st), while Mandeep Singh scored for India in the 36th minute.

Malaysia 2 Canada 2

MALAYSIA played hot-and-cold to hold Olympic-bound Canada 2-1 in the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh Tuesday.
  With five points after four matches, Malaysia are out of the running to play in the final, but can salvage some pride by winning against Pakistan and India in the next matches to play for the bronze.
  Playing in front of another capacity crowd, Malaysia played a fast-paced game but after 15 minutes, they failed to break the duck as Canada defenders played a robust game.
  The national players needed a win, at any cost, to make sure they finish among the top-four in the 25th Edition.
  But it was Canada who took the lead off their skipper Scott Tupper, who converted a penalty corner in the 21st minute.
  Malaysia were rewarded for pushing forward in numbers, when Shahril Saabh perfected a penalty corner set-piece in the 29th minute to draw level and enter the half-time dressing room with some breathing space.
  After the break, Shahril's shot at goal was deflected in by Nabil Fiqri in the 31st minute, and Malaysia were back in the match.
  However, in the last five minutes of the third quarter, Malaysian defenders started taking unnecessary risks and were punished by Matthew Guest in the 45th minute -- 20 seconds from the break hooter.
  The score stood, and Malaysia held the the Olympic-bound Canadians.
  "Both the teams came out looking for a win to move higher on the standings, but we missed too many crosses across the goalmouth that forced us to share points.
  "However, it was another good game from my players and we are still within our target of finishing among the top four in the tournament, provided we get the better of Pakistan tomorrow (today) and India in our final pool match," said Malaysian coach Stephen van Huizen.
  Australia edged New Zealand 1-0 to place a foot in the final of the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh Tuesday.
  Jamie Dwyer, who will be playing in his fourth Olympics in Brazil, made the difference with a 22nd minute penalty corner goal.
  Defending champions New Zealand tried to steal a point from the World N 1 by removing their goalkeeper in the last four minutes of the match, but failed to score off the four penalty corners they won.
  In another match, India hammered Pakistan 5-1 with goals from Manpreet Singh (4th), Sunil Sowmarpet (10th, 41st), Talwinder Singh (50th), Rupinder Pal Singh (54th), 
  The Pakistan consolation was scored by Muhammad Irfan (7th).


             P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
AUSTRALIA    4  4  0  0  15 2  12
INDIA        4  3  0  1  11 8  9
N ZEALAND    5  2  2  1  13 9  8
CANADA       5  1  2  2  8  10 5
MALAYSIA     4  1  2  1  10 13 5
PAKISTAN     4  1  0  3  7  15 3
JAPAN        4  0  0  4  6  13 0
  RESULTS: Australia 1 New Zealand 0, Pakistan 1 India 5, Malaysia 2 Canada 2.
  April 13: New Zealand v India (4pm), Australia v Japan (6pm), Malaysia v Pakistan (8.35pm).
  April 14: REST DAY.
  April 15: Japan v Pakistan (4pm), Australia v Canada (6pm), Malaysia v India (8.35pm).
  April 16: Classifications and Final.