KUALA LUMPUR: The men’s national hockey team retained the bronze medal at the Asian Champions Trophy when they whipped China 3-0 in the third placing playoff in Kakamigahara, Japan on Sunday.
It was Malaysia’s third straight bronze in the championship, having finished third in the inaugural meet in 2011 in Ordos, China, and then again in Doha, Qatar, last year.
Striker Faizal Saari was the hero, slotting home the first two goals in the second and 47th minutes. Azammi Adabi added the third in the 51st.
It was the Malaysians’ second win over the Chinese. In the preliminary round, Malaysia won 5-4.
In the six-team round-robin format, Malaysia only secured two wins and lost three.
They lost 0-1 to Japan in their opening match and went down by a similar margin to Pakistan. The Malaysians’ other loss was inflicted by India, who triumphed 4-3.
Besides China, Malaysia’s other win came through a 5-3 triumph over Oman.
Pakistan retained the title when they beat Japan 3-1 in the final. India, the 2011 champions, finished fifth when they thrashed Oman 5-1.
The Asian Champions Trophy is the last assignment for the Malaysians. They will wrap up their year with a tour of South Korea at the end of the month.Players who are dropped for the Korean tour and the Junior World Cup team will make up the squad for the Myanmar SEA Games in December.
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