JOHOR BARU: Australia demolished Malaysia 1-6 to give the host nation their second straight defeat in the Sultan of Johor Cup (SOJ) 2018 hockey tournament.
Early in the first quarter, Malaysia was awarded two penalty corners but Nur Asraf Ishak failed to convert as Australia goalkeeper, Cade Banditt, easily blocked his shots.
Lack of concentration in Malaysia’s defence cost them dearly when Australia’s Hayden Beltz put his team in the lead through a field goal in the eighth minute to make it 0-1 in their match held at Taman Daya hockey stadium here on Sunday night (Oct 7).
The national youth players had no answer to the visitors' physical approach where Alec Rasmussen doubled his team’s lead in the 26th minute to make it 0-2 for Australia.
In the second half, Malaysia able to cut the deficit when Muhamad Haikal Hasrin pulled a goal back through a field goal in the 37th minute to make it 1-2.
Just when Nor Saiful Zaini Nasiruddin boys showed more urgency in their game, Damon Steffens restored Australia’s two-goal advantage through a penalty corner in the 44th minute to make it 1-3.
Australia then put the match beyond Malaysia when Jake Staines converted a penalty corner in the 45th minute for a healthy 1-4 lead.
The goals kept coming for the Aussie team as Coby Green put his name on the scoresheet when he converted a penalty corner in the 52nd minute to make it 1-5.
Steffens then scored his second goal of the match when he converted another penalty corner in the 53rd minute to make it 1-6.
The win is much needed for Australia who aim to defend the SOJ trophy after suffering a shock loss to Japan in their opening match while Malaysia must improve in their next game against New Zealand on Tuesday (Oct 9) if they want to finish the tournament in the top four.
In the other earlier matches, Japan continued their giant-killing streak when they defeated Great Britain 2-1 while India whipped New Zealand 7-1.
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