Host nation go top of Pool B in Johor Bahru
POOL B: Malaysia’s passionate and vocal fans went home happy on Sunday evening when their team recorded an impressive 6-4 victory over South Africa. The win sends the host nation to the top of Pool B with one match to play before the quarter finals. Malaysia will be aiming to take the fine form into Tuesday’s match against England, who drew with Pakistan earlier in the day.
Extended reports and match highlights can be found below.
South Africa – Malaysia 4-6 (1-2)
Malaysia’s passionate and vocal fans went home happy on Sunday evening when their team recorded an impressive 6-4 victory over South Africa. The win sends the host nation to the top of Pool B with one match to play before the quarter finals.
Just as they did in their tournament opener against Pakistan, Malaysia started the match in electric fashion. It took just four minutes for the home side to take the lead, with Faizal Saari flicking a powerful penalty corner into the net.
South African captain Austin Smith almost tied the scores with a penalty corner of his own, but Malaysia goalkeeper Kumar Subramiam pulled off a remarkable glove save to ensure that his side maintained the advantage.
Azlan Misron was guilty of wasting a glorious chance, swinging and missing the ball with an open goal in front of him. However, Malaysia were soon two to the good when Muhammad Razie Abd Rahim slammed another penalty corner past South Africa keeper Erasmus Pieterse in the 15th minute.
South Africa grew in confidence as the half progressed, and pulled a goal back nine minutes before half time through a thunderous Jethro Eustace penalty corner, and drew level shortly after half time Wade Paton thumped a blistering shot into the net via the right shoulder of Subramiam.
Despite sacrificing a solid lead for the second time in two matches, Malaysia regrouped and went on the offensive. They were rewarded when Muhammad Razie Abd Rahim claimed his second penalty corner of the game in the 46th minute. This was followed by a stunning three goal burst in four minutes, with brothers Faizal Saari and Mohd Fitri Saari scoring either side of a strike from Miguel da Graca to take the score to 5-3 in Malaysia’s favour.
Malaysia added a sixth goal seven minutes from the end of the match when Muhammad Marhan Mohd Jalil drilled a shot through the legs of Pieterse before South Africa’s Timothy Drummond competed the match scoring from open play in the 69th minute of the match.
Malaysia will be aiming to take the fine form into Tuesday’s match against England, who drew with Pakistan earlier in the day.
Pakistan – England 2-2 (1-2)
Pakistan and England played out their second draw of the Hockey World League Semi Final in Johor Bahru, with the match scoring finishing at 2-2. The result means that both teams have two points from their two matches in Pool B, with South Africa and Malaysia playing their second match in the final game of the day.
The first half was hugely enjoyable, with both teams determined to play exciting, attack-focussed hockey in front of the fans here at the Johor Bahru Hockey Stadium.
The first real chance of the game went the way of Pakistan, with Abdul Haseem Khan firing a rasping shot just wide of the target when he really should have done better. England’s Mark Gleghorne also went close in the early stages before Oliver Willars opened the scoring in the 13th minute, picking up a rebound after Harry Martin’s initial effort was well saved by Pakistan goalkeeper Imran Shah.
Pakistan needed just five minutes to find an equaliser thanks to a low bullet of a penalty corner from team captain Muhammad Imran, but England re-took the lead ahead of half time when a neat penalty corner routine was flicked high into the roof of the net by Adam Dixon.
Pakistan were outstanding in the second half, restoring parity in the 50th minute through Abdul Haseem Khan, who tapped home from close range following a penalty corner save from England keeper George Pinner. Pinner made three outstanding saves in the second half to stop Pakistan from taking the lead, the best of which came when Shafqat Rasool aimed a shot towards the roof of the net which was brilliantly batted away by England’s giant shot-stopper.
Pakistan substitute goalkeeper Imran Butt, who was brought onto the field for the second half, was brought into action eight minutes from the end of the game when England won a penalty corner. The custodian made a stunning double save, blocking the initial flick from the top by Richard Smith before miraculously blocking a goal-bound follow up shot from Dan Fox to keep the scores level. Butt came to his team’s rescue for a second time in the final minute of the match, denying a high penalty corner flick from Ashley Jackson to ensure that the match finished with the scores level.Back