Monday, September 27, 2010

Same old, same old Malaysia

Rain delayed the Malaysia v New Zealand match by more then an hour after the two teams had only played 11 minutes at the Tun Razak Stadium.

But Malaysia adapted better to the heavy pitch conditions racing to a 2-0 lead but squandered the opportunity to give them some semblance of revenge for the World Cup Qualifier defeat at Invercargil in November last year, as New Zealand scored twice in the last ten minutes to force a2-2 draw.

The two teams are preparing for the Commonwealth Games that will be held in New Delhi later this week and will play another match on Tuesday at the same venue, commencing at 5.00pm.

Malaysia fielded Aussie based Jiwa Mohan who last donned national colours during the Azlan Shah Cup in May and he made the final 16 of the Delhi Games at the expense of his younger sibling Jivan Mohan.

Also failing to make the cut was Kelvinder Singh who is expected to call it quits and concentrate on his studies.

Malaysia took the lead three minutes into the second half when Mohd Amin Rahim's low drag flick went through the pads of NZ custodian Kyle Pontifex.

Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin had the opportunity to increase the lead in the 41st minute but hit straight into the pads of the onrushing Kyle when the presence of mind would have been to look for a teammate on the top of the semi circle.

Of their fourth penalty corner though Malaysia went 2-0 ahead with Mohd Razie Rahim sending an unstoppable flick into the left hand cornering the 48th minute.

The Kiwis then forced two penalty corners in quick succession but though Andy Hayward beat Roslan Jamaluddin, the upright foiled his attempt to reduce the deficit in the 51st minute.

NZ reduced the deficit in the 64th minute when Hugo Inglis was left unchallenged to unleash a reverse hit from the top of the semi circle that had Roslan beaten all the way.

Joel Baker equalized for the Kiwis four minutes from time as the Malaysian defense crumbled under sustained pressure from the NZ strike force .