Malaysia torn apart!

  • Hockey
  • Saturday, 10 Mar 2018

Close call: Malaysia’s Tengku Tajuddin (right) fails to get past England’s Mark Gleghorne and goalkeeper George Pinner during their encounter in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh. England won 7-2. — RONNIE CHIN/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: It was a night to forget as Malaysia were hammered 7-2 by England in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

The men’s team, who are in the Podium Programme, are to be blamed for their porous defence at the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh yesterday.

Conceding three goals in the space of five minutes in the first quarter was a big blow for Stephen van Huizen team's preparation for the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia from April 4-15.

To make matters worse, they let in another four in the space of 17 minutes in the last two quarters.

England completed the round robin fixtures with eight points from five matches and will face world champions Australia in the final.

The Oceania champions chalked up their fifth consecutive win when they came back from a goal down to defeat reigning Olympic champions Argentina 3-1 in the first match of the day.

Malaysia, who needed a win over England to qualify for the final, finished with six points from two wins and three defeats.

Malaysia will face Argentina in the bronze medal playoff today.

The Malaysian defence had conceded 12 goals in their last two matches. On Wednesday, they were outplayed by India 5-1.

World No. 6 England played to their true form to take the lead in the 10th minute off their third penalty corner.

Mark Gleghorne’s high drag flick hit the stick of goalkeeper Muhd Hafizuddin Othman before it hit the net.

A minute later, experienced midfielder Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor failed to clear a high ball and England's Ollie Willars collected the ball before scoring from the top of the semi-circle.

In the 15th minute, Malaysia were punished for the third time as skipper Muhd Razie Rahim’s poor clearance was collected by Barry Middleton, who raced into the semi circle for a reverse stick shot which sailed past keeper Hafizuddin.

England continued to pile up the pressure by adding another four goals.

Middleton was on target again to make it 4-0 in the 31st minute before Sam Ward scored a brace in the 38th and 43rd minutes.

And Gleghorne made it 7-0 in the 48th minute.

But Malaysia scored two late goals through Razie (50th) and Mohd Marhan Mohd Jalil (52nd) to reduce the deficit.

Argentina, who needed a win over Australia to qualify for the final, started off well by taking the lead through Gonzalo Peillat off a penalty corner in the 21st minute.

But their joy was short-lived as Australia equalised four minutes later through Aaron Kleinschmidt.

Australia netted two more goals in the space of two minutes in the fourth quarter through Trent Mitton (55th minute) and Kleinschmidt (66th minute).

Ireland registered their first win by edging Asia Cup champions India 3-2.

Both teams will play again for the fifth placing match today.

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