Sultan Azlan Shah Cup: Tough for Malaysia to make final after draw with Pakistan
IPOH, — Malaysia face a tough task to make the final of the 29th edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament after drawing 1-1 with Pakistan for their first point tonight.
The Speedy Tigers, coached by A.Arulselvaraj lost their opening round-robin game against South Korea 3-0 and prop up the standings with just one point from two matches.
They must win their remaining three matches to stand a chance of at least finishing second to play in the final.
World number 10 Malaysia began today’s match against world number 18 Pakistan in fine fashion when they shot ahead through a field goal by forward Shello Silverius in the 26th minute.
Although the hosts played way better compared to yesterday’s capitulation at the hands of world number 12 South Korea, their failure to convert any of the five penalty corners could very well come back to haunt them.
National goalkeeper Hafizuddin Othman deserves praise for thwarting five Pakistan penalty corner attempts.
However, even he could not prevent Pakistan from getting the equaliser through Arbaz Ahmad’s 37th-minute penalty corner goal.
The Speedy Tigers will take a break tomorrow before taking on South Africa in their third match on Friday (Nov 4).
In other matches today, world number 20 Egypt defeated world number 14 South Africa 3-0 while South Korea edged world number 17 Japan 1-0.
After the opening two matches, South Korea top the six-team standings with six points, followed by Egypt, Japan and South Africa with three points each while Pakistan and Malaysia have one point each.
The top two teams after the completion of the round-robin matches will meet in the final.