Thursday, November 29, 2012


Malaysia defied the odds to make the semi final of the Champions Challenge when they defeated South Africa 4-1 in Quilmas, Argentina.

They will meet either Japan or South Korea in the semis,It is an historic effort as Malaysia has never made it to the semis of the previous five Champions Challenge tournaments.

"We are proud of the performance and tactical discipline of the players," said George Koshy, the team manager.

"The early goal help settle nerves and it was a question of frustrating our opponents.

"Our initial target has been met and now we want to move to the next stage and make the final."

Malaysia attacked from the first whistle and were duly rewarded in the 3rd minute when Izwan Firdaus Ahmad Tajuddin, a last minute inclusion following an injury to Mohd Ameerullah, struck from a quick counter attack.

In the next ten minutes Malaysia were awarded three penalty corners but failed to add to their tally.

South Africa then came close to an equaliser in the 20th minute but the striker failed to put enough power to the shot with only keeper S.Kumar to beat.

It was all South Africa after that as they kept the pressure on the Malaysian defence but could not come up with an equaiiser.

Faisal Saari scored the second in the 38th minute to give Malaysia a 2-O lead.

Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tg Jalil made it 3-0 in the 56th minute via a penalty corner deflection before Faisal scored his second and Malaysia's fourth a minute later.

Though South Africa reduced the deficit in the 63rd minute via Austin Smith, Malaysia were safely through.