KUALA LUMPUR: Faizal Saari sent Malaysia into their first-ever Asia Cup hockey final when he scored a late goal to earn a 1-1 draw with South Korea in the final Super Four match.
Malaysia, who finished second with four points, will face unbeaten India in the final at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh, today. India topped the standings after a 4-0 win over arch-rivals Pakistan earlier yesterday.
Yesterday’s final two Super Four fixtures were thrown into disarray after a cyclone hit Bangladesh. Both the matches were delayed due to a waterlogged pitch.
Malaysia went into the match against defending champions South Korea needing just a draw after Pakistan were beaten by India.
It was the Koreans who drew first blood in the 24th minute when Yang Jihun converted a penalty corner.
Malaysia, however, refused to give up. They attacked relentlessly in the third and fourth quarters.
It finally paid off when they earned a penalty corner in the 59th minute. Striker Faizal calmly slotted home to put Malaysia in the title playoff.
As for India, Satbir Singh gave them the lead in the 39th minute.
Two-time champions India added three more goals through Hermanpreet Singh (51st), Lalit Upadhyay (52nd) and Gurjant Singh (57th).
Meanwhile in the classification playoffs, Japan finished fifth after beating hosts Bangladesh 4-0 while China ended up seventh with a 3-2 win over Oman.