Monday, March 25, 2019

Bollywood script in India draw...

KUALA LUMPUR: India and South Korean battled to a 1-1 draw in a match full of Bollywood style drama in the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh Sunday.
  India had the match in hand until the last eight minutes, but South Korea survived a barrage of green cards as well as a 40 minute break courtesy of torrential rain.
  South Korea had the better of India until the 28th minute, but three of their players were green carded and they were left only eight to defend.
  Yang Jihun (25th), Lee Namyong (25th) and Lee Seungil (28th) were green carded and sat looking from the sin-bin, as India took the opportunity to attack in numbers and Mandeep nailed the lead in the 28th minute.
  And just when India felt they had the match wrapped up, pouring rain blanketed the Azlan Shah Stadium and the match was stopped with eight minutes to end.
  South Korea came back looking fresher after the long break, and forced four penalty corners before Jung Jung Hyun scored with 20 seconds on the clock to share the spoils.
  India coach David John blamed indiscipline among his players for the draw.
  "Indiscipline is what caused us to lose three points as we gave away too many penalty corners in the last eight minutes after rain. But still, a point is still good enough," said John.
  India defenders gave away four penalty corners after the rain break, and were punished by Jang, who played for Terengganu Hockey Team in the Malaysia Hockey League recently.
  Skipper Manpreet Singh believes rain helped old legs in the Korean team to recover.
  "The plan was to run them down as we have a younger team compared to them, and we did just that. But the 40 minute rain delay helped Korea to recover their 'old legs', and so, it (rain) was a great help for them," said Manpreet.
  After a day's break Malaysia play India on Tuesday.

Canada break Poland resistance

KUALA LUMPUR: Canada had to bring out their best to beat Poland 4-0 in the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh Sunday.
  Even though the scoreline look like it was an easy match but it took the World No 10 35 minutes to score against No 21 ranked Poland.
  Brendon Bissett scored the opener in the 35th minute, and it finally opened up the game and Canada went on to score three more off Devhon Teixera (47th, 59th) and Gordon Johnson (55th).
  "We always have difficulties when we play European teams and it was evident today (yesterday) as we needed time to start scoring.
  "But we came here with a mission to learn and grow, and that's what we did in this match.
  "The rain before our match brought some relief, and so it was much better than our first match (lost 6-3 to South Korea)," said Canada coach Gregg Clark.
  After a day's rest Canada meet Asian Games champions Japan.
  "We always look at ourselves when preparing for a match, and so, it does not matter who we play, we stick to our game plan," said Clark about the Japan encounter.
  Poland coach Karol Sniezek was not happy with the score, but praised his men for their attitude.
  "Even though we were playing a team which is way above us, my players still managed to hold them for a long period, and I believe we are slowly improving in this tournament," said Sniezek.

Malaysia survive to fight another day..

Pic: Oltmans with Fitri Saari after beating Japan 4-3.


                P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
MALAYSIA        2  2  0  0  9  4  6
S KOREA         2  1  1  0  7  4  4
INDIA           2  1  1  0  3  1  4
CANADA          2  1  0  1  7  6  3
JAPAN           2  0  0  2  3  6  0
POLAND          2  0  0  2  1  9  0

  RESULTS: India 1 South Korea 1, Poland 0 Canada 4, Malaysia 4 Japan 3.

By Jugjet Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian hockey team finally showed up in full force at the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh to beat Asian Games champions Japan 4-3 Sunday.
  The match almost followed the same script as the Asian Games, where Japan came back from 5-1 to draw level at 6-6 and then win the shoot-out 3-1.
  But the players were more prepared this time, and denied Japan another famous victory.
  Faizal Saari was again the toast as he opened scoring in the third minute, and added another in the 25th.
  Kazuma Murata narrowed to 2-1 in the 17th, but Nik Aiman Rozemi scored the third in the seventh minute.
  The match was far from over as Japan kept pushing for the equaliser, but Razie Rahim gave Malaysia some breathing space when he scored off the only penalty corner in the 53rd minute.
  However, even before the crowd at the stadium could celebrate the 4-2 lead, Koji Yamasaki scored in the 54th minute.
  Faizal took his personal tally to five as he scored a hat-trick in the 5-1 win against Poland.
  In the Asian Champions Trophy last year, Malaysia won 3-0 in the pool, and then drew 2-2 but won 3-2 in shoot-out for bronze.
  Malaysian coach Roelant Oltmans said: "The good thing about this match is that the players are no longer nervous when they concede a goal, and they play their normal game.
  "We knew Japan wold come hard at us and we managed to soak the pressure and that was another good point," said Oltmans.
  Malaysia only won one penalty corner in 60 minutes: "Yes, but we also scored three field goals and that was complimented by the 100 percent penalty corner record."
  Man of the match Fitri Saari said: "Now that we have gotten over two matches with full points, we are looking forward to a good tournament by taking one match at a time."