Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Malaysia In Semis Of Asia Cup

IPOH, Aug 27 (Bernama) -- Malaysia confirmed their place in the semi-finals of the Asia Cup 2013 after defeating Japan 4-2 in their final Group A match at the Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Stadium here Tuesday.

Malaysia emerged runners-up in the group behind Pakistan.

Japan were more aggressive on the start and were the first to score when Toshiro Tashibana converted a penalty corner in the fourth minute before Kei Kawakami made it two up for them in the eighth minute.

Stunned by the 0-2 deficit, the national side coached by Paul Revington regrouped and went for Japan's goal and were rewarded when Muhammad Razie Abd Rahim scored Malaysia's first goal from a penalty corner in the 13th minute.

Muhammad Firhan Ashaari then equalised through a field goal in the 27th minute.

On resumption, Malaysia gave no quarter to their fancied opponents and it resulted in Faizal Saari putting the hosts in the lead in the 59th minute before Azlan Misron sealed victory with the fourth coming in the 66th minute.

Malaysia will meet Group B champions in the semifinal which will be played on Friday. The likely opponent will be India who are topping the group with one more match to be played but South Korea are close on their heels.

In an earlier Group A match, Pakistan, champions in 1982, 1985 and 1989, demolished Taiwan 13-0 to emerge group champions.

Meanwhile, in an immediate reaction, Malaysian Hockey Confederation president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah said he hoped Malaysia would maintain their winning momentum.

He said he and Revington would look into making the team stronger in facing the Asian hockey powerhouses in the following rounds.

Revington said he was happy with the team's performance but rued they missed some sure chances, adding:"Losing or winning is a sure thing in sports, but we hope to be able to overcome India in the semifinal later,"

-- BERNAMA

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