Saturday, December 17, 2011


Malaysia emerged champions of the 2nd SEA Cup when they defeated Singapore 6-1 in the final at the Yangon Hockey Stadium in Myanmar.

And hosts Myanmar created history of sorts when they beat Thailand 3-0 in the match to determine third placing, thus earning their first international win as well as a podium finish in international hockey.

Dubbed as the "pasar malam" (night market) squad by an official, an obvious refernce to the fact that the composition of the team not being acceptable to certain quarters, the Malaysians did not need any motivation with some players dedicating the win to the official.

The final was as expected a battle between the Malaysian strikers and the Singapore defence, where the islanders opted for the parking the bus strategy, having all players behind the ball.

They held on well while it worked but lack of tactical discipline and not adhering to the game plan saw Malaysia exploiting the gaps in the Singapore defence with Ismail Abu and Chaua Boon Huat prising open the defence with their skill as well as one touch hockey.

With S. Shanker and Mohd Sallehin Abdul Ghani akin the rock of Gribaltar in defence, there was no way for the Singaporeans to trouble the Malaysian dfence.

Malaysia opened scoring in the 23rd minute when Kevin Khartik, who later was named as the man of the match, sent his attempt past a despairing dive by Singapore custodian Ng Wan Chiang.

With the barrier broken it was just a matter of time when the floodgates would open and it duly happened in the 26th minute with Dedy Ariyadi side stepping Ng after being put through by Ismail Abu to give Malaysia a 2-0 lead.

Ismail then got onto the scoresheet himself scoring the third in the 39th minute after robbing the ball of Singapore defender Harjeet Singh. It was his seventh goal of the tournament and he went on to win the top scorer award.

Muhammad Amerullah scored in the 52nd minute to make it 4-0 and although Singapore scored in the 53rd minute via Silas Abdul Razak, it was just a minor setback for the Malaysians.

Goals by Chua Boon Huat ( 64th minute) and Muhammad Redzwan (69th minute) sealed the win and the title for Malaysia.

In the match to decide the third spot, Myanmar opened scoring in the 38th minute Than Htut Win.

And three minutes later Hein Min Zaw converted a penalty corner to double their advantage.

 The confirmed their third place when Thein Htaik Aung scored in the 51st minute and the crowd were already celebrating in the stands.

They were immediately rewarded with USD1.200 by the Vice President of Myanmar Hockey Federation KK Liang.