JOHOR BARU: Malaysia dashed Japan’s hopes of qualifying for their first Sultan of Johor Cup hockey tournament final after pulling off a remarkable 1-0 win.
A field goal from Muhajir Abdu in the 57th minute at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium gave Malaysia their first victory in the tournament and put an end to the Japanese dream.
Britain made their way to the final after beating two-time winner India 3-2 yesterday.
Goals from Cameron Golden (6th minute), Stuart Rushmere (39th minute), and Edward Way (51st minute) ensured Britain a place in the final against India.
India, who have already qualified for this year’s final, got their goals through Vishnukant Singh (fifth minute) and Shilanand Lakra (20th minute) yesterday.
Japan had to beat Malaysia with more than five goals to stand a chance to qualify for the final on a superior goal difference but they limped out.
Nor Saiful Zaini Nasiruddin’s boys showed they were no pushovers by limiting Japanese attack by putting them under pressure.
Saiful said he was proud of his players overall performances as the bulk of them had never played in international matches.
“We need this kind of exposure for our young squad. This is a good platform for their development and a good learning exposure for them.
“They did not allow Japan control the match, our defence played really well. These are all the positives we should take from this tournament,” he said.
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