On another four match day, Singapore saw victories of South Africa over Chile and of Poland over the home team. Meanwhile in Johor Bahru, Egypt defeated Russia and Malaysia took three points off the USA.
In today's pool A clash between Egypt and Russia and Johor Bahru, Egypt defeated Russia. Russia had been the more active and aggressive team in the first half, but couldn't score while Egypt were maximally effective and took the lead with their first good opportunity.
As the Russians started to grow desperate after the break, they also started to pick up yellow cards, and with Russia two men down, Egypt scored their second goal, soon followed by a third when the Russian contingent was reduced to eight on the field. Russia paid the price for their lack of discipline, and Egypt solidified their 4th palce in pool A with today's win.
In pool B, South Africa dispatched Chile. The team had little difficulty with a listless Chilean team that struggled with themselves more than they did with their opponents. The Africans laid down a solid team effort, playing steady, committing few errors and scoring goals at a constant pace.
With reliable set pieces that eventually yielded half their goals, South Africa had a foundation to build on, and moved past their opponents who were no match for them today. With today's three points, they solidify third place in the pool behind Australia and Germany but ahead of Japan and Chile.
In pool C, Malaysia face dthe USA and got off to a blazing start, scoring three goals in just ten minutes, startling the US boys. Nonethless, they fought their way into the game, pushing the match into a balance.
As Malaysia lost grip, seemingly surprised by their dominance, the USA rebounded and scored, even if only after conceding another one to the home team. With the USA 1:4 down, the teams entered the second half at a more subdued pace, and it took until ten minutes before the end of the game for another goal to be scored.
Jed Cunningham sunk a penalty corner for the USA to reduce the lead to 2:4, only to find Faizal Saari respond in kind, re-establishing a three goal lead and the final score. It is an important three points for Malaysia who remain in hot pursuit of Spain and Korea at the top of the table, fighting for one of the elusive top two spaces.
Pool D's encounter was another battle to avoid the red lantern as the Singaporean hosts took on Poland. In a largely uneventful match that took a dramatic turn at the end, Poland were the stronger side but held themselves back with scores of unforced errors and a lack of understanding between team members.
Poland finally managed to take the lead late in the game, but only to find Singapore scoring their first goal in the competition to equalize. With a penalty stroke awarded after regulation time had ended, it was Krystian Makowski who then broke the enthusiastic Singaporean supporters' hearts by converting the opportunity to give his team the much needed win.
Follow our extensive tournament coverage including a live ticker from key matches, daily summaries, a photo gallery and video interviews at http://www.juniorworldcupmen2009.sportcentric.com.
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