Sunday, June 18, 2017

Seven Up


The English goals came early in the first and third quarters while the Malaysians put up some form of a fight in the second.

But in the end the quality of the teams told and Malaysia were handed a 3-7 drubbing by England.

That defeat although expected may well cost them dearly in the later stages of the tournament.

If Malaysia were hoping for a good start to overcome their Argentina defeat, it never materialised.

Instead the English were in such form that by the eight minute they had a 2-0 lead.

Barry Middleton and Christopher Griffiths struck in the fifth and eighth minutes of field goals to put them in a commanding position in the match.

Malaysia’s third penalty corner in the 19th minute proved fruitful.

Mohamed Razie Rahim took the initial shot but his attempt hit the defender on the goal line. A penalty stroke was awarded and Faizal  Saari duly converted it for the first goal.

This spurred the Malaysians and in the 28th minute they had their fourth penalty corner. This time Faizal took the flick and his initial shot was blocked by goalkeeper George pinner.

 But Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin who was near the goalkeeper managed to slot home from close range the rebound for the equaliser.

But the third quarter proved a major disaster for the Malaysians as they made several defensive lapses to gift the English easy goals.

In the 32nd minute, England earned their first penalty corner and Sam Ward flicked the ball home to put them in the lead again.

Disaster struck for the Malaysians two minutes later with Barry scoring his second off a field attempt.

England led 4-2.

And another blunder followed in the 39th minute as Mark Glerghorne scored with a field attempt.

Mark was again on target in the 55th minute while Sam scored his second goal in the 51st minute.

Faizal managed to pull back a goal for Malaysia in the 57th minute.

National coach Stephen van Huizen said that the early goals killed them off.

“But nothing has changed. We are still in the running although the task seemed a little harder now considering that Korea lost to China.

“we will regroup and get ready for the Koreans game on Monday,” he said.

Earlier China stunned the hockey world when they destroyed former Asian champions South Korea 5-2 in an upset in Group A.

The Koreans who had lost 1-2 to Argentina on Thursday were expected to bounce back and take full points. But the Chinese had other ideas and they recorded one of their better results against the Koreans.

The Chinese goal came from Su Lixing, Su Jun (two), E Liguang and Guo Zixiang.

For the Koreans Yang Jihun and Hwang Weonki were on target.

The Koreans like Malaysia are facing a major hurdle. Both have lost their two opening matches and another defeat could jeopardise their quarterfinal chances.

Thus when they meet on Monday it will be a must win situation.

For China the result put them in a good position to qualify for their first World Cup. They have one defeat which they lost 0-2 to England.

The next group A matches will put the qualifiers in the correct perspective.

Meanwhile India also virtually booked its quarterfinal berth after an easy 3-0 win over Canada in Group B.

A day earlier Argentina had already secured a spot form Group B after their second win.

Canada went into the match after a 6-0 drubbing of Pakistan. Many would have thought that they would have given India a tough fight.

But Canada with their win over Pakistan has a good chance of making it as they have Scotland to play.

S. V Sunil scored the opening goal for the Indians while Akashdeep Singh and Sardar Singh added the other two goals early in the match.

After that the Indians went through the motions to collect full points and lead the table in Group B with six points.

Indian coach Roelant Oltmans said that it was an important win for the team as it kept the momentum going.

“We had a good game and it is always good to start with two wins. The quarter finals is still some days away and our focus is on the next match. Let us not get ahead of the task,” he said.