Monday, August 26, 2013
IPOH, Aug 25 - Former World champion Pakistan came from behind to crush Malaysia 4-1 in a highly exciting Group A Asia Cup 2013 encounter at the Sultan Azlan Shah hockey stadium, here, Sunday night.
Malaysia had taken a much deserved lead through Muhammad Razie Abdul Rahim's clinically struck penalty corner in the 26th minute but that goal only seemed to have awakened the Pakistan side that has won the Asia Cup in 1982, 1985 and 1989 because they played with renewed vigour.
The tremendous pressure applied by the Pakistanis paid off in 32nd minute when Muhammad Zubair rammed home from close range to equalise but that was only to signal the start of more things to come after the break.
A lapse in concentration in defence saw Pakistan take the lead through Muhammad Dilber's 46th minute field goal while skipper Muhammad Waqas made it 3-1 in the 60th minute before Shafaq Rasool put the icing on the cake, six minutes before the end.
Coach Paul Revington said though he was disappointed with the result, he was happy with the performance of his players.
"I am satisfied with the determination that was shown by all the players, but some things need to be improved, especially in terms of defence which was a little loose," he said.
Revington said the next match against Japan on Tuesday was very important for Malaysia.
"We should take some time to fix some flexibility on the defensive line before the next match," he said.
In a match played earlier, defending champion South Korea whipped Bangladesh 9-0 in a Group B match while Japan beat Taiwan 5-1 in a Group A match.
Malaysia play Japan on Tuesday and a win or draw will see Malaysia move into the semifinals.
Tomorrow, Bangladesh will again see action against Oman while India face South Korea.