Malaysia achieved a splendid 2-0 victory over Japan to keep its chances alive for a semi-final berth in the men's Asia Cup on Tuesday. The Malaysians held all the aces and kept the Japanese under pressure throughout.
By S. Thyagarajan
A first minute goal by Ismail Abu was enlarged in the early minutes of the second half by Azlan Misron. The Malaysian goal-keeper, Kumar Subramaniam emerged the hero in the end, with a spectacular display under the bar. Some his saves from penalty corners were superb.
Malaysia has nine points and a goal-aggregate of 23 and leads the table in Pool A. Malaysia takes on Pakistan in the next match, while Japan meets Singapore in the final encounter.
Earlier, India turned in a low-key performance to prevail over Bangladesh by six goals to nil after leading 1-0 at half-time. The frontline literally struggled to rip open the rival defense where goal-keeper Zahid Hussain, who was declared the Player of the match, brought off a few smart saves.
Finding a measure of rhythm in the second half India netted five more goals to finish on top of the table with a tally of 12 points, winning all the four matches played in Pool B.
In another match, Hong Kong picked up full points against Singapore before completing the program in the Pool. The all important goal was scored by Harinder Singh Bal in the dying minutes.
Results Men’s Asia Cup, Tuesday 4 September 2007:
Hong Kong – Singapore 3-2
Malaysia – Japan 2-0
Ranking: 1. Malaysia 3-9 (23-1), 2. Pakistan 3-6 (15-4), 3. Japan 3-6 (10-4), 4. Hong Kong 4-3 (6-28), 5. Singapore 3-0 (2-19)
India – Bangladesh 6-0
Ranking: 1. India 4-12 (30-2), 2. Korea 3-6 (30-5), 3. China 3-6 (19-1), 4. Bangladesh 4-6 (16-14), 5. Sri Lanka 3-0 (2-32), 6. Thailand 3-0 (0-42).
Wednesday’s matches: Thailand v Sri Lanka; Korea v China; Pakistan v Malaysia.
Please click here for direct access to the special Men's Asia Cup website.
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