Host nation Malaysia suffered a 3-2 defeat to France in pool B in Saturday’s last match of the Pahang Hockey Champions Challenge 1 in Kuantan. Earlier, Canada had drawn 3-3 with Korea bouncing back after being 3-1 behind. Tomorrow, Canada play France with Korea facing Malaysia.
Korea v Canada 3-3 (2-1)
Canada achieved a 3-3 draw against pool B favourites Korea in Saturday’s third match at the Pahang Hockey Champions Challenge 1 in Kuantan, Malaysia. The Asian champions had given away a 3-1 lead and failed to find a winner in the remaining seven minutes. Man of the match was Canada’s Matthew Guest (63’) who scored the equalising goal.
Canada made the better start to the game and were close to scoring when Adam Froese’s penalty corner flick (10’) hit the crossbar. However, Korea were first to score, taking the lead through Cho Suk Hoon (13’).
Korea, who are also qualified for the Rabobank Hockey World Cup, doubled their lead in the 24th minute when Nam Hyun flicked home a penalty corner. The Canada offense struck back immediately with a Gabriel Ho-Garcia goal. The match went into halftime with a score of 2-1 in favour of Korea.
Korea extended their lead to 3-1 at the beginning of the second half thanks to Kim Seong Kyu (39’) getting his name on the scoreboard. Canada however did not give up, fought back strongly beating Korean goalkeeper Lee Myung Ho twice within three minutes. First, Taylor Curran (60’) fired a shot into the Korean goal, then, Matthew Guest (63’) scored the equalizer.
Malaysia v France 2-3 (0-1)
France walked away with a 3-2 victory over Malaysia thanks to a late penalty stroke goal from Hugo Genestet in today's second match in pool B.
The crowd at the Stadium Hockey Wisma Belia enjoyed an entertaining encounter as Malaysia created many promising scoring opportunities in the first half but failed to capitalize on them. France’s first circle penetration came 10 minutes before halftime.
Against the run of play, it was France who won the first penalty corner of the match, although the shot went wide. Malaysia tried hard to get on the scoreboard, creating several chances, but the French goalkeeper Edgar Reynaud was always in control.
The hosts dominated play throughout the first half but it were France who opened the scoring against the run of play. Olivier Sanchez linked well with Gaspard Baumgarten to take the lead for the Tricolores.
The hosts eventually got on the scoreboard in the second half, as Ahmad Jalil (41’) tipped the ball into the goal after excellent work by the Malaysian attackers. With 20 minutes remaining, Malaysia star Faizal Saari took the lead, much to the delight of the home support.
However, France didn’t need much time to level the score to 2-2 as Victor Charlet (53’) converted a penalty corner. Six minutes before the end of the game Malaysia goalkeeper Kumar Subramiam was sent off with a yellow card after tackling a French attacker. The umpires also awarded a penalty stroke to France which was successfully taken by Hugo Genestet (64’) securing the victory.
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