Home > Sport
Sunday May 4, 2014 MYT 9:33:00 PM
Sunday May 4, 2014 MYT 11:23:24 PM
by s. ramaguru
Malaysian players acknowledge the crowd's support after finishing third in the Champions Challenge I playoff match in Kuantan on Sunday.- BERNAMA
KUANTAN: Malaysia came good in the third place playoff match by beating Ireland 4-2 to finish on the podium for the first time in the Champions Challenge 1 hockey tournament.
Malaysia’s performance was nothing to shout about as they were scrappy throughout the match. Two early strikes and another two late goals gave them victory at the Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium on Sunday.
The Malaysians had a great start, going two-up after only 11 minutes.
Ahmad Kazamirul Nasruddin, who was named man-of-the-match, surged forward but was fouled in the D. Kazamirul stepped up and easily converted the subsequent penalty stroke awarded for the opening goal in the seventh minute.
In the 11th minute, forward Mohamed Rashid Baharom increased the lead with a field attempt. Like Kazamirul, it was Rashid’s first goal in the tournament.
The Irish had two penalty corners later in the first half in the 15th and 16th minutes but the Malaysians managed to foil them.
But the homesters were not so lucky in the 26th minute. The Irish earned another penalty corner and this time Paul Gleghorne scored with a direct drag flick.
Malaysia then held on for a slender 2-1 first-half lead.
The Malaysians started the second half in a casual way and gave the Irish the chance to plot their attack. In the 43rd minute off a quick counter attack, Ireland got their equaliser with Chris Cargo scoring from the left with a hefty shot.
The goal stung the Malaysians into action but they had trouble getting past the Irish defence.
Malaysia had a good chance to regain the lead in the 64th minute off a penalty corner but goalkeeper David Harte saved it. But Harte was beaten a minute later, this time by a field goal from skipper Azlan Misron.
And with a minute to go before full-time, Mohamed Irhan Azhaari sounded the board off a pass from Faizal Saari.
“It was a difficult match considering we don’t have a good record going into playoff matches.
"The players were down after the Canada defeat and we had a tough time trying to motivate them. I am glad that they responded although the game itself was not that good.
“This is the first time in the series that we have made the podium. I am proud of the players and it augurs well for the team,” he said.
In the battle for fifth place earlier in the day, world No. 6 New Zealand defeated France 5-3.
Japan also ended their campaign on a winning note by beating Poland 3-2 to take seventh place.
Tags / Keywords:
Malaysia, hockey, Kuantan, Champions Challenge I, Ireland
Two changes to women’s Asian Games hockey squad
Just a matter of salvaging some pride for hockey boys now
Hockey: India take on Pakistan in Asiad rematch in Johor
Experienced players let us down, says Arulselvaraj
MHC to Arul: Just stick to the juniors
Malaysia unmatched against India
Malaysia punished again for leaky defence
Starbucks launches mobile takeout and Chestnut Praline Latte
Catalans: independence drive will intensify unless Madrid negotiates
Anak Chintan Theatre brings a local edge to Asian family theatre
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)