China's Huang Yue and Malaysia's Hafifi Hafiz Hanafi fight for the ball during their friendly match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil. Malaysia won 6-1. – Azhar Mahfof / THE STAR
KUALA LUMPUR: Forward Mohd Firhan Ashaari scored a brace in the last three minutes of the match to steer Malaysia to a convincing 6-1 win over China in the tense third friendly match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
The 21-year-old Terengganu hitman was on target in the 67th and 70th minutes after defender Ahmad Kazamirul Nasruddin (19th), Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor (27th), Hafifihafiz Hanafi (36th) and Mohd Ramadan Rosli (54th) had found the net for Malaysia on Wednesday.
Du Talake scored China’s consolation goal in the 42nd minute off a penalty corner.
National midfielder Nabil Fiqri was sent to the sin bin for a rough tackle in the 46th minute. Four minutes later, forward Faizal Saari and China’s Du Talake were also flashed the yellow cards for a scuffle.
China are here to play six friendlies with Malaysia in preparation of the Incheon Asian Games in September.
Malaysia won the first match 2-1 last Sunday and drew the second 4-4 on Monday.
The two teams will clash for a fourth time on Thursday at the same venue at 5pm.
Former German international Kevin Lim, who received the clearance from the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to feature for Malaysia last month, has yet to see action in the friendly matches.
The 27-year-old defender said that he suffered a slight hamstring injury during training last week and hopes to play his first match on Thursday.
“I need to play in the last three matches to impress the (national chief) coach (K. Dharmaraj) and win a place in the Champions Challenge I in Kuantan (from April 26-May 4),” said Kevin.
There are 29 players in the training squad and Dharmaraj will drop nine players after the six friendly matches.