|November 27th, 2012|
|10||Pool A||11:00am||CAN - MAS||2 - 4 (1 - 3)||Final||x 93|
Canada defeated as Malaysia continue winning run
Malaysia maintained their fine form at the Argentina Hockey Men’s Champions Challenge 1 by recording a 4-2 victory over Canada. It was a third straight win for the impressive Malaysians, who had already been confirmed as the winners of Pool A thanks to Korea’s loss against Poland in the first match of the day. For Canada, the result meant that they finished bottom of the Pool and will now face a difficult Quarter Final match against either Argentina or Japan, the two teams fighting it out at the top of Pool B.
Malaysia were arguably the better side in the first half, looking extremely threatening going forwards whilst also looking solid at the back. The team from Asia established a 2-0 lead after just eleven minutes with Mohd Fitri Saari firing home a penalty stroke before Tengku Tajudin Abdul Jalil doubled the advantage from open play. Canada pulled a goal back in the 17th minute when Keegan Pereira fired home, but Malaysia restored their two goal cushion in the 24th minute through Faizal Saari. The Canadians rallied hard towards the end of the first half and could easily have pulled themselves level were it not for some outstanding goalkeeping from Kumar Subramiam.
Canada continued to impress in the early stages of the second period and were rewarded for their efforts when Matt Guest lashed home a fierce reverse stick shot in the 39th minute. The young Canadian team was performing admirably against the more experienced Malaysians, and were very much in the match until a moment of brilliance from Mohd Fitri Saari took the wind from their sails. With 14 minutes of the match remaining, Saari picked up the ball in midfield, drifted past three Canadian defenders before arrowing a sensational reverse stick shot into the bottom corner. It was a goal worthy of winning any match, and proved to be enough to give Malaysia a 4-2 triumph.
Paul Revington (MAS Coach)
“This group is working together for only the last six or seven weeks, and they are learning to play as a team. This is our first official international tournament. That’s why it is good for us score four goals in a match again. I’m pleased with my players because they did a great job, because playing against Canada is never easy. Our next rivals are South Africa and Ireland, and both are good.”
Kumar Subramiam (MAS GK)
“I think we did well in the last three games. And we have to keep this winning attitude because we need to improve every match. Although this is an important tournament and we want to win it, we are looking for a constant improvement of the team”.
Anthony Farry (CAN Coach)
“They played better than us. We never could get into their rhythm. They put pressure in all the lines and we couldn’t solve that. We have to improve our skills for the next match. It is likely that we will play against Argentina, which will be a hard challenge for us”.