AUS­TRALIAN LES­SON

Malaysia hit for six in Sul­tan Azlan Shah Cup

New Straits Times - - Sport - JUGJET SINGH jug jet@nst.com.my

THE gulf in class was hard to dis­guise as Aus­tralia ham­mered Malaysia 6-1 in the Sul­tan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh yes­ter­day. Only Faizal Shaari man­aged to score against the Aussies off a penalty stroke in the 42nd minute, while the six were scored by hat-trick he­roes Tom Craig (11th, 38th, 44th) and Trent Mit­ton (23rd, 27th, 58th).

Malaysian coach Stephen van Huizen said: “Ob­vi­ously we are dis­ap­pointed with the re­sult. We gave too much re­spect to Aus­tralia in the first quar­ter. We lost two play­ers (green and yel­low cards) and this af­fected our game.

“We had a good third quar­ter and I am happy with the per­for­mance of the play­ers as they fought hard.

“Aus­tralia cre­ated a lot of chances, far more than we had. Los­ing 6-1 is tough to ac­cept and we need to re­group our­selves and come back.”

In an­other match, drag-flick spe­cial­ist Har­man­preet Singh scored a brace as In­dia bounced back from a lack­lus­tre first quar­ter per­for­mance to beat New Zealand 3-0 in the 26th Sul­tan Azlan Shah Cup yes­ter­day.

Matches were de­layed by an hour again, as a thun­der­storm hit Ipoh.

New Zealand and In­dia went into the match in search of a first win in the tour­na­ment.

The Ki­wis played to a 1-1 draw against de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons and World No 2 Aus­tralia in Satur­day’s open­ing en­counter while the In­di­ans, sixth on the world rank­ings, emerged with a 2-2 draw af­ter a gru­elling ses­sion against Bri­tain.

Led by S.V. Sunil, who earned his 200th in­ter­na­tional cap yes­ter­day, In­dia’s at­tack­ing ma­chin­ery got its act to­gether in the sec­ond quar­ter with a se­ries of quick counter at­tacks, earned three penalty cor­ners and broke the dead­lock.

Man­deep Singh de­flected a bounc­ing ball past Harry Gib­son in the 23rd minute via open play to go 1-0 ahead and Har­man­preet Singh swept a pow­er­ful drag flick three min­utes be­fore the end of the quar­ter to dou­ble the score.

Har­man­preet nailed the third in the 47th.

In­dia coach Roe­lant Olt­mans said: “I am happy with the re­sult. I only prefer to win. But I am not happy with the way we per­formed al­though we did ex­pect New Zealand to play a dif­fer­ent way. Af­ter the first quar­ter we com­pletely dom­i­nated the game.”

In an­other match, Bri­tain pulled off a stun­ning 5-3 vic­tory over Ja­pan.

The Bri­tons lived up to their prom­ise of mak­ing a strong come­back against the Ja­panese fol­low­ing an ex­cit­ing 2-2 draw against In­dia on Satur­day.

RE­SULTS: In­dia 3 New Zealand 0, Ja­pan 3 Bri­tain 5, Aus­tralia 6 Malaysia 1.

TO­MOR­ROW: In­dia v Aus­tralia (4pm), New Zealand v Ja­pan (6pm), Malaysia v Bri­tain (8.30pm).

Faizal Shaari

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