Akhimullah saves Malaysia from defeat

Akhimullah Anuar Esook - Filepic

PETALING JAYA: Striker Akhimullah Anuar Esook came alive in the final quarter to rescue Malaysia from the jaws of defeat against Scotland’s Under-23 team.

Akhimullah had missed two matches due to injuries to his knees and shin but he has been on fire since making a comeback, and yesterday, he helped Malaysia pull off a 1-1 draw at the Clydesdale Hockey and Cricket Club in Glasgow, Scotland.

The home side took the lead in the 10th minute when Fraser Moran buried a penalty corner, but from that point on, the young Speedy Tigers fought hard to equalise.

And their persistence paid off in the fourth quarter when Akhimullah scored a field goal in the 59th minute.

They will face the same team again to complete their Tour in the United Kingdom.

In the last six matches, Malaysia won twice against England Under-21 (5-4) and Wales Under-23 (2-1) respectively. They, however, lost to Repton (0-2), England Under-21 (2-3 and 0-2) and Hampstead and Westminster (1-3).

It was Akhimullah’s second goal in the tour as he had also scored in the last match against England.

Coach Wallace Tan was impressed with his team’s unwavering spirit in finding the last-minute equaliser.

“When we were down 0-1 as early as the first quarter, the boys showed fight and didn’t give up against the dogged Scotland team,” he said.

“It’s a good preparation before the Junior World Cup in India (from Nov 24-Dec 5).

“I’m happy with the way the boys have grasped the process.

“I wanted them to adapt to various situations and they have.”

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