Monday, December 24, 2012


Malaysia withstood a robust Pakistan to hold the Champions Trophy bronze medallists to a 3-3 draw at the Asian Champions Trophy in Doha.

Malaysia twice took the lead but could not hold on but showed plenty of character to snatch a point, netting the equaliser in the 68th minute. And had they been sharper, Malaysia could have snatched all three points as they forced a penalty corner at the death but failed to find the elusive fourth.

Still it was a remarkable performance from a makeshift Malaysian squad that has rested eight players from its fourth placed squad that played at the Champions Challenge in Argentina last month.

Malaysia forced three penalty corners but couldn't find the mark early in the match. But they took the lead in the 20th minute when a hit by Fitri Saari was deflected into goal by a Pakistani player.

Barely a few seconds later as the Malaysians were still celebrating, Pakistan hit back to net the equaliser via Samir Al Shibi.

At half time the honors were even 1-1 but Pakistan was finding its footing and getting back into the game.

Faisal Saari then went on one of his solo runs and finished with his trademark reverse hit to give Malaysia a 2-1 lead in the 43rd minute.

Pakistan were then awarded a penalty corner but the defense held firm, denying the Pakistanis with sturdy defending.

But off their third penalty corner Pakistan found the goal to draw level via Rashid.

And Muhd Waqas put Pakistan ahead only for Faisal to pop up in the semi circle and steer a reverse stick attempt by Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin to assure Malaysia a share of the spoils two minutes before time.

Though awarded two late penalty corners, the Malaysian battery failed to find a way past Imran Butt in the Pakistan goal.

in the end Malaysia wondered how they let Pakistan off the hook in a match that they held a stranglehold on for long periods.

Malaysia play China on Monday.

In an earlier matches India whitewashed Oman 11-0 while China defeated Japan 4-2.