IPOH: Malaysia’s hopes of playing in the indoor hockey World Cup Finals next year went up in smoke when they lost 2-3 to Iran in the final of the Asian championships at the Ipoh City Council Indoor Arena here yesterday.
For Iran, they won the title for a third consecutive year after having beaten Malaysia, who were represented by the Sapura, in the 2008 and 2009 finals.
This time, Malaysia were represented by players selected from the national championships last month but the team were still not good enough to dethrone Iran.
Former national skipper S. Kuhan scored both the goals for Malaysia in the fourth and 39th minutes. Iran got the better of Malaysia with strikes from Bahrami Yaghoub, Norouzzad Eh Reza and Abbasi Reza in the 12th, 30th and 37th minutes respectively.
The Asian championships was designated by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and a qualifying event offering a ticket to the world Finals.
Uzbekiatan beat Pakistan 2-0 to take third place while Thailand routed Kazakhstan 7-0 for fifth place.
The teams who have qualified for the world Finals are Austria, the Czech Republic, England, Spain, Germany, Holland, Poland and Russia. Three more continental representatives will be decided later for the third edition of the Finals, which will be held in Poznan, Poland, from Feb 8-13.