THE HAGUE: Malaysia’s defensive weaknesses were laid bare by Belgium as they whipped Malaysia 6-2 in their second Group B match at the GreenFields Stadium here.
The Malaysians led twice through Mohamed Razie Rahim’s penalty corner goals but in the end it was not enough to stop the Red Lions on Monday.
Tom Boon was the hero with four goals while Tanguy Cosyns and John-John Dohman added the other goals.
The Belgians were fast on the breaks and also defended well in numbers to keep the Malaysians at bay.
It was the second defeat for the Malaysians after the 0-4 loss to Australia on Saturday.
It was the Malaysians who got off the blocks first as they earned a penalty corner in the fourth minute.
They played a variation and Mohamed Razie Rahim was spot on to net the opening goal.
The Malaysians enjoyed some good moments after that but a mistake in the 13th minute with a lapse in concentration allowed the Belgians to snatch a penalty corner. That attempt saw a foul in the D by the Malaysians. Initially the umpire gave a free hit to the Belgians but a video referral saw the decision being changed to a stroke. Boon converted it easily, beating S. Kumar on the right.
In the 14th minute the Malaysians were back on the attack, earning their second penalty corner.
Once again Razie’s drag flick was fast enough to give Malaysia the lead.
But the joy was shortlived as the Belgians hit back a minute later and Boon was on target from a penalty corner set-piece.
Kumar then made two good saves in the 20th minute to keep the Malaysians in the game.
In the 30th minute the Belgians had the ball in the net but a referral by the Malaysians saw the decision being overturned as well.
In the 31st minute, the Malaysians' half-hearted clearance of the ball saw Boon netting his hat-trick with a goal from close range.
The Belgians held the lead at half time.
They started off the second half strongly and earned two penalty corners within three minutes.
The first one in the 37th minute proved fruitful with Cosyns scoring the fourth goal.
At this point the Malaysians were under pressure and were reduced to defending their half. They hardly had a decent attack in the second half.
In the 56th minute the Belgians went further ahead with goal number six coming from Dohman.
Malaysia’s next match is against England on Thursday while Belgium will face Australia.