Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Foto: Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2013, Malaysia vs Australia [Men's Hockey]

IPOH, March 12 - Ace striker Faizal Shaari was the savior of the national team when his 69th minute goal helped Malaysia to secure a 1-1 draw against seven times champions Australia in the prestigious Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey championship at the Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Stadium here Tuesday night.

The first half saw the national players who are coached by South African Paul Revington pull off numerous fine moves which had Aussie keeper Andrew Charter on tenterhooks.

In the 27th minute, Muhammad Marhan Mohd Jalil had a golden chance to put Malaysia ahead but failed to overcome Charter in a one-to-one situation.

And just as the first half was about to end with neither side appearing to score, Trent Mitton managed to beat Malaysia's keeper S.Kumar in a goalmouth melee a minute before the half-time siren to put the Aussies ahead.

Despite the deficit, the almost 4,000 home fans who packed every nook and corner of the stadium remained solidly behind their heroes and buoyed them on with the song 'Perajurit Tanah Air' (Our Warriors) and beat drums that reverberated throughout the venue.

It was just the tonic the hosts needed and they reciprocated with Faizal Shaari turning hero when he found the equaliser in 69th minute with a piledriver from a rebound on a penalty corner that Muhammad Razie Abdul Rahim was unable to convert.

Malaysia next play Pakistan on Thursday, also in a night match.

Malaysia captained by Mohd Shahrun Nabil Abdullah had won their two earlier matches, against South Korea on Saturday and New Zealand on Sunday.

In the afternoon matches played today, South Korea lost 0-3 to New Zealand while India beat Pakistan 3-1.


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