M'sia squanders two-goal lead, loses 4-3 to Kazakhstan in indoor hockey semis

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia paid the price for poor defending in the second half and were beaten 4-3 by Kazakhstan in the semi-finals of the men's Indoor Asia Cup hockey tournament in Chonburi, Thailand today (July 20).

With the defeat, Malaysia's hope of qualifying for the Indoor World Cup in 2021 is all over.

Malaysia will face Uzbekistan in the play-off for the bronze medal on Sunday (July 21), while Kazakhstan will face seven-time champions Iran in the final.

The champion will qualify for the 2021 World Cup.

Asian powerhouse Iran trounced hapless Uzbekistan 9-1 in the other semi-finals match.

Against Kazakhstan, Malaysia started off well by taking a 3-1 lead in the first 22 minutes of the match.

In fact, Malaysia were two goals ahead within five minutes with Muhd Aminudin Mohd Zain and Mohd Shafiq Yaacob scoring in the fourth and fifth minutes respectively.

But Kazakhstan managed to narrow the deficit in the 16th minute through Yermek Tashkeyev.

Malaysia, four times runners-up, managed to increase the lead again to 3-1 via Mohd Firdaus Omar in the 22nd minute.

Kazakhstan never gave up, though, and they stormed back to hammer in three goals in the space of seven minutes.

Skipper Daulet Urmanov scored a brace in the 27th and 30th minute, and Tashkeyev was the hero for netting the winning goal in the 34th minute.



Across The Star Online