CHN V MAS ( ) Hockey World League Semi-Final Antwerp 2015
World number 12 Malaysia overcame a strong challenge from 31 ranked China to emerge 3-2 winners as both nations opened their Pool B campaigns at the FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Finals in Antwerp.
Following a closely contest opening period, Malaysia took a firm grip on the contest with two goals in the second quarter. The first came from a moment of brilliance from Faizal Saari, who roofed a vicious volley from a tight angle before Muhammad Shamsul added a second on the stroke of half time.
China dragged themselves back into the game in the third quarter, with Guo Xiaoping slotting home from close range before the lower-ranked team were awarded a penalty stroke minutes later. However, the Malaysians used their right to a video referral to good effect to get the decision overturned.
Malaysia extended their advantage to 3-1 in the final quarter thanks to a penalty corner from team captain Razie Rahim, although China hit back immediately through Zhang Zhixuan’s neat deflection. It proved to be the last goal of the game, with Malaysia taking all three points.
“We were nervous in the game as it is a really big tournament” said China captain Sun Tianjun. “We didn’t play our best, but we know that we can do better in the coming matches”.
The players of both teams were wearing black armbands in respect to goalkeeper S Kumar, who had to returned home to Malaysia following the tragic death of his son. Ahead of the game, a moment of silence was held by everyone within the stadium in tribute.
- Match 03
- Date Sun, 21 Jun 2015
- Time 12:00
- Venue KHC Dragons