IPOH, March 19 (Bernama) -- Malaysia put on a commanding display to whip China 7-3 in their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey match at the Azlan Shah Stadium, here Wednesday night.
Despite winning by a big margin, Malaysian coach Muhammad Dhaarmaraj Abdullah said was not on cloud nine but rather claimed it was not a fantastic display by his boys.
"I don't think we had a fantastic game. It was just that we took our chances well in the first half," he said after the match.
The Malaysian gave the home fans reason to cheer when the Malaysian boys blasted five goals in the first half with Muhammad Marhan Mohd Jalil opening the floodgate in the sixth minute before captain Azlan Misron added the second in the 9th minute while Mohamad Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin (24th), Tengku Ahmad Tajudin Abdul Jalil (26th) and Shahril Saabah (30th) made it 5-0.
After the break, China came out strongly and were awarded a penalty corner in the 43rd minute which E Liguang tucked away to reduce the deficit.
Two minutes later, Rashid Baharom was brought down by the Chinese goalkeeper Yang Rong Yao and Malaysia were awarded a penalty stroke.
Mohd Fitri Saari flicked the ball beyond Yang's reach to put Malaysia 6-1 ahead but in the 61st minute, China were also awarded a penalty stroke after Mohd Fitri was judged to have handled the ball inside the box off a penalty corner strike.
Du Talake hit a low drive that beat Malaysian goalkeeper Muhammad Hafizuddin Othman but Malaysia struck back a minute later through Muhammad Firhan Ashari who blasted home a rebound from a penalty corner to restore Malaysia's advantage.
China were awarded another penalty corner in the 66th minute and Talake once again found the target to enable China to walk out of the match with a decent scoreline.
From Farhanah Azmi -- BERNAMA