Malaysia produced a splendid display to overcome Pakistan 3-2 while India was forced a share points with Egypt 2-2 on the opening day of the Sultan Azlan Shah trophy tournament at Ipoh on Sunday.
Playing for the first time Egypt drew India. The 2-2 result came after an inspiring performance of the Egyptians who scored first in the early minutes and netted the equaliser after the regulation time forcing a penalty corner 37 seconds before the hooter.
It was not India's day as nothing went right for the team gearing up to regain the trophy here. Coach Harendra admitted that the team played only 25 per cent of its potential. But the Polish coach of the Egyptian team for two years, Jerzy Wyberalski, viewed the outcome as the result of hard work by the players who are fighting to give the country a top spot in Africa. Jerzy had figured in four World Cups for Poland from 1975 and then coached the team in 2000 Olympics.
Mohammad Hassn provided the finishing touches to a beautiful counter attack launched by the Egyptians after successfully defending a penalty strike by Sandeep Singh to surge ahead. Sandeep Singh however restored parity. India, which had six penalty corners in the match against the two by Egypt was in the lead till the final minute. Shivendra Singh had scored the second goal. But in the last few seconds, Egypt earned the admiration of one and all when El Sayeed Amr slotted the second goal.
Malaysia and Pakistan clashed in an exciting match with the local crowd firmly behind the home team. Rahim Mohammad Rahim scored from a penalty corner and Shakeel Abbasi brought Pakistan on level.Close on half-time, Abdulla Mohammad Nabli cashed in a on a scrimmage the near goal to give Malaysia the lead. In the second half, the Malaysians strengthed the attacks and an indirect penalty tap by Misron put the home team on the road to a victory. In the closing minutes, Pakistan struck through Abbas Haider.
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