JOHOR BARU: Malaysia finally recorded their first point in the Sultan of Johor Cup (SOJ) 2018 after their match with New Zealand ended in a thrilling 5-5 draw.
The result was a disappointment to the national youth squad as they had taken a 3-0 lead within the first 10 minutes of the match.
Malaysia started brightly with Lokman Hakim Asri putting his side in the lead with a goal in the seventh minute to make it 1-0.
Two minutes later, Shello Silverius doubled Malaysia's lead with a field goal in the eighth minute of the first quarter to make it 2-0.
Mamat Adam then scored Malaysia third goal with another field goal in the 10th minute, much to the delight of the home fans at Taman Daya hockey stadium here on Tuesday night (Oct 9).
New Zealand was then able to pull a goal back when they converted a penalty corner by Rueben Andrews in the 11th minute to make it 3-1.
Malaysia immediately responded when Muhammad Azrai Azaid Abu Kamal scored a field goal in the 12th minute to lead 4-1.
But Andrews scored his second of goal through another penalty corner in the 15th minute to make it 4-2 just before the end of the first quarter.
Malaysia's leaky defence, which cost them dearly in their last two matches, gave New Zealand a lifeline when Sam Hiha scored a field goal in the 30th minute to make it 4-3.
In the second half, New Zealand increased their pressure and it paid off when Rueben scored his third goal when he converted a penalty corner in the 48th minute to make it 4-4.
Muhammad Hafiz Mohd Zauri then put Malaysia back in the lead when he converted a penalty corner with just three minutes left to make it 5-4.
However, Hiha scored his second of the match through a field goal in the 60th minute to make sure that both teams shared a point.
In the other matches, India are a win away from booking their place in the finals when they edged out the tournament surprise package, Japan, 1-0.
Defending champions Australia will need to win their last two matches to have a chance to defend their trophy after their match with Great Britain ended in a 2-2 draw.
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