By Jugjet Singh | Jugjet’s World of Field Hockey
MALAYSIA played hot and cold to allow India to beat them 5-1 in the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh Wednesday (March 7). With the defeat, they must beat England on Friday and hope Australia beat Argentina to play in the final of the 27th Edition.
India took a lead off Shilanand Lakra in the 10th minute, when he picked a cross from Gurjant Singh in front of Hafizuddin Othman and cooly lifts the ball over the goalkeeper and into goal.
Faizal Shaari scores the equaliser in the 33rd minute, but goals from Gurjant Singh (42nd, 57th) and Ramandeep Singh (48th, 55th) destroys Malaysia.
Three teams will be battling for one final slot in the 27th Edition of the Azlan Shah Cup Friday.
Australia checked in early on 12 points while Argentina, Malaysia and England will be playing for the other final slot Friday.
For Malaysian coach Stephen van Huizen and his men, they must first hope world No 1 Australia beats world No 2 Argentina in the first match of the day. And then Malaysia needs to beat England, to play in the final.
“We know the situation well, and were really hoping to claim the final ticket by beating India but it did not happen.
“Now, it’s out of our hands as Australia needs to beat Argentina to keep our hopes alive. Nevertheless, we will play all out for a win against England for the highest possible finish in the tournament,” said van Huizen.
Malaysia played their worse match against India and lost 5-1, and on Friday they will be hoping to play like they did in the 2-1 win against Argentina.
“All the players have knocks and bruises but only Marhan (Jalil) might not be available for Friday as he received a nasty knock against India.
“We know there is a good chance to beat England, and we will not throw it away regardless the outcome of the first match (Argentina v Australia).”
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