Saturday, November 7, 2009


Malaysia squandered a 2 goal lead to end up sharing points with Austria in their opening match of the World Cup Qualifiers at Invercargill today.

Malaysia had a dream start with Mohd Amin Rahim converting a penalty corner in the 6th minute and Azlan Misron scoring the second two minutes later.

However Manuel Grandits reduced the deficit to 2-1 in the 54th minute before Michel Korper broke Malaysian hearts by scoring off a penalty corner three minutes before the hooter.

The dropped points could comeback to haunt Malaysia in the later stages of the tournament where only the winner will go on to play in the 2010 World Cup in New Delhi.

And while Malaysia had somewhat a jittery start, hosts New Zealand went on a scoring spree, defeating Wales 6-2 while China came from a goal down to edge Scotland 2-1.

New Zealand showed that they did not miss Hayden Shaw much as Andrew Hayward was just as effective converting penalty corners by notching a hattrick, scoring in the 33rd, 35th and 65th minutes.

Nicholas Wilson gave New Zealand the lead in the 17th minute and by halftime the hosts were 3-0 up.

But Wales did not give up, and they reduced the deficit to 3-2 when Richard Gay scored off two penalty corners in the 37th and 49th minutes.

However the Kiwis stepped up a gear with Nicholas grabbing his second in the 60th minute before skipper Phillip Burrows scored to make it 5-2 in the 63rd minute.

Scotland scored in the 4th minute through Stephen Dick but Lu Yixian converted a penalty corner in the 45th minute for China to draw level.

The winner came 10 minutes from time via Na Yubo and the three points came as a relief to China who arrived a day before the tournament got underway.

China's Le Dunze had the dubious distinction of being the first player to be suspended for two minutes under the regulations imposed by FIH for green card offences.