Sunday March 10, 2013
Malaysia’s evergreen Chua hits winner against S. Korea
By S. RAMAGURU
IPOH: Chua Boon Huat celebrated his 11th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup appearance with two goals as Malaysia started their campaign with a 3-2 win over South Korea at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium here last night.
Both his goals came late in the match and from close range attempts. The match was heading for 1-1 draw until Boon Huat popped up to score in the 68th minute. But the Koreans hit back almost immediately through Yung Sung-hoon.
The 33-year-old Boon Huat then ghosted past the Korean defence in the 69th minute to strike home a field goal to give Malaysia all the points.
Malaysia started off aggressively but had to wait until the 21st minute to break the deadlock. From a penalty corner, Faisal Saari sent the ball high into the net to beat Korean goalkeeper Lee Myung-ho.
The Koreans took on a more aggressive approach after the break. It paid off in the 57th minute with Nam Hyun-woo making no mistake from a penalty corner.
Then came the drama in the last three minutes of the match. And it was Boon Huat who came to Malaysia’s rescue.
Like Malaysia, world champions Australia also got off to a winning start with a 4-3 triumph over India.
The Australians stayed in front throughout the match and only a poor second half allowed the Indians to narrow the scoreline.
Australian coach Ric Charlesworth was not too happy with his team’s sloppy display.
“You just cannot afford to play sloppily after taking a three-goal lead,” lamented Charlesworth.
“We are here to expose the players but you have to learn from your mistakes and not get carried away.”
Matt Gohdes scored a brace in the 24th and 39th minutes. Glenn Simpson (38th) and Trent Milton (53rd) were the other scorers.
India’s goals were scored by Rupinder Singh (20th and 68th) and Malak Singh (51st).
Australia will play Pakistan today while India will face South Korea.
In an earlier match, Pakistan used their penalty corner firepower to edge defending champions New Zealand 4-3.
Skipper Mohamed Imran was the hero for Pakistan, scoring the first hat-trick of the tournament – and the winning goal in the 58th minute. His other goals came in the 19th and 28th minutes. Abdul Haseem Khan scored the other goal in the 21st minute.