(Photo: FIH)

The men of Malaysia have suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of Wales, going down 1-0 in Cardiff on Sunday.

It was the second meeting between the two nations, with Malaysia emerging 3-1 winners of the first contest. However, Wales – 27th in the FIH World Rankings - produced a vastly improved performance in the second game to claim a notable victory over the 13th best team in the world. Rufus McNaught-Barrington netted the only goal of the game with a second half penalty corner.

Malaysia are currently in the final stages of their preparations for the upcoming Electric Ireland FIH Road to London Olympic Qualifying tournament, which begins this weekend in Dublin.   The winner of the event will confirm their place at the London 2012 Olympic Games, with the Asian side needing to battle their way past Chile (ranked 26th), Russia (20th) and Ukraine (29th) as well as host Ireland (16th) and the ever-dangerous Korea, currently ranked 6th in the world.

Ireland appear to be the in-form team going into the event, having recently secured 9-0 and 4-0 victories over the Czech Republic, ranked 23 in the FIH World Rankings.  A full preview of the tournament will be available on the FIH website from Friday morning (Central European Time).