Monday, May 05, 2014

National Hockey Squad In Third Place


KUANTAN, May 4 (Bernama) -- Despite failing to advance to the finals of the Champions Challenge 1 Hockey Championship as targeted, the national hockey squad succeeded in ending the challenge in third place after beating Ireland 4-2 at the play-off at the Indera Mahkota Hockey Stadium here, Sunday night.

The national hockey squad's best achievement prior to this was fourth placing at the Quilmes, Argentina edition in 2012 and in Kuala Lumpur in 2001.

Malaysia initiated scoring in the seventh minute from a penalty stroke by Ahmad Kazamirul Nasruddin before Muhammad Rashid Baharom doubled the score via a field goal in the 11th minute.

Ireland, which is 15th in the world, created its first goal through a penalty corner strike by Paul Gleghorne in the 22nd minute.

In the second half, Ireland levelled the score 2-2 in the 43rd minute from a field goal by experienced player Chris Cargo.

The ecstasy of the squad under Fulton Craig was however shortlived when the national squad's captain Azlan Misron scored a field goal in the 66th minute.

Muhammad Firhan Ashari was feted the hero of the team when he confirmed a Malaysian win via a field goal in the 70th minute.

Meanwhile, national team coach, Muhammad Dharmaraj Abdullah said despite failing to achieve the target, he was satisfied with the performance of his players who were determined for a win after being thwarted by Canada at the semi-final action yesterday.

Malaysia failed to advance to the final after it was embarrassed 5-4 by Canada through penalty strikes after being tied 2-2 in the semi-final yesterday.

In previous matches, Japan beat Poland 3-2 to grab seventh place, while New Zealand garnered fifth spot after disposing off France 6-3, at the play-offs.

-- BERNAMA

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