|July 2nd, 2013|
|11||Pool B||7:00pm||ENG - MAS||2 - 1 (1 - 1)||Final||x 7|
England – Malaysia 2-1 (1-1)
A second half strike from Barry Middleton has put England firmly in the Pool B driving seat, earning them a 2-1 win over host nation Malaysia here in Johor Bahru. The teams went into half time with the score at 1-1, with Malaysia’s Tengku Ahmad Tajudin Abdul Jalil cancelling out a Richard Smith goal before Middleton struck with 12 minutes of the match remaining.
The result guarantees a top two finish for England, although Pakistan have the chance to fight for the top spot when they play South Africa in the final match of the day.
A frenetic first half saw both sides determined to take the initiative, as a large and noisy crowd watched a superb contest that flowed from end to end and incredible speeds. Malaysia, fresh from their confidence boosting 6-3 victory over South Africa, looked confident and extremely dangerous going forward, giving the world number 4 ranked team a real run for their money in the early stages.
England were the first team to get their name on the score-sheet, with Richard Smith finding the goal from a 20th minute penalty corner. Smith’s initial flick at goal was brilliantly blocked by the Malaysian defence, but England’s number 29 got a second bite of the cherry and somehow found a way past the right foot of goalkeeper Kumar Subramiam.
Malaysia deservedly hit back seven minutes later through a penalty corner. England goalkeeper George Pinner made a solid block from Faizal Saari’s first attempt, but he could do absolutely nothing about the follow up shot from Tengku Ahmad Tajudin Abdul Jalil, who clipped into the roof of the net with a reverse side volley.
England superstar Ashley Jackson had two good chances either side of half time to regain the advantage, but his penalty corner flick and a diving effort were both wide of the mark. At the other end, Malaysia’s inspirational attacker Faizal Saari went close to bagging a penalty corner of his own, but his low flick failed to test England’s Pinner.
The winning goal of the game arrived with 12 minutes of the match remaining. A goal-bound shot from England’s Adam Dixon ricocheted off a Malaysian defender and fell kindly to Barry Middleton, who made no mistake with a composed finish from close range.
Malaysia rallied hard towards the end of the match, much to the delight of their home fans. However, England held on for a victory which puts them in a very strong position in Pool B.
|July 02nd, 2013 at 6:10 am||JOHOR: ENG 0-0 MAS - Match underway! Live streaming here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xHkQn79adE . Please retweet!|
|July 02nd, 2013 at 6:11 am||JOHOR: ENG 0-0 MAS - Entertaining start to this one ... two very attack focussed teams, so there should be some goals! 6 mins gone.|
|July 02nd, 2013 at 6:24 am||JOHOR: ENG 0-0 MAS - First penalty corner of the game goes to England. Will they strike first against the home favourites?|
|July 02nd, 2013 at 6:26 am||JOHOR: ENG 1-0 MAS - 20 mins in and England have the lead. Richard Smith scores a second phase penalty corner.|
|July 02nd, 2013 at 6:36 am||JOHOR: ENG 1-1 MAS - Tengku Tajudin restores parity, following up a penalty corner save to fire home on his reverse.|
|July 02nd, 2013 at 6:41 am||JOHOR: ENG 1-1 MAS - England's Ashley Jackson flicks a penalty corner wide of the target. three minutes to go until half time.|
|July 02nd, 2013 at 6:53 am||JOHOR: ENG 1-1 MAS - The teams, who went into the break with the scores level, are now ready to start the second half.|
|July 02nd, 2013 at 6:59 am||JOHOR: ENG 1-1 MAS - England almost take the lead when Ashley Jackson dives in to a cross from the left, but it goes just wide. Close!|
|July 02nd, 2013 at 7:12 am||JOHOR: ENG 1-1 MAS - Malaysia's Faizal Saari arrows a low penalty corner drag flick just wide of the right post. 18 mins to play|
|July 02nd, 2013 at 7:17 am||JOHOR: ENG 2-1 MAS - Barry Middleton fires home from close range to give England the advantage with 12 minutes remaining.|
|July 02nd, 2013 at 7:24 am||JOHOR: ENG 2-1 MAS - Five minutes to go now, but the hosts are still in this. Can they grab a late leveller?|
|July 02nd, 2013 at 7:33 am||JOHOR: ENG 2-1 MAS - FULL TIME. England battled hard for the win, and move to the top of Pool B ahead of the PAK v RSA match.|