Monday March 11, 2013
Malaysia beat New Zealand for their second straight win
By S. RAMAGURU
IPOH: Veteran Chua Boon Huat scored again as Malaysia recorded their second straight win in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup after a 2-1 triumph over defending champions New Zealand at the Azlan Shah Stadium here last night.
The Malaysians, who were 3-2 winners over South Korea in their opening match on Saturday, retained the same line-up. There were few scoring chances in the first half. The Kiwis earned two penalty corners but failed to make them count.
Malaysia started off strongly after the breather and it paid dividends. Boon Huat, who scored two goals against the Koreans, ended the deadlock with a field goal in the 40th minute.
It did not take Malaysia long to get the second goal. Four minutes later, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin slammed home from the top of the D to give the Kiwis a mountain to climb.
To their credit, the Kiwis refused to give up. They came close a couple of times but Malaysian goalkeeper S. Kumar was up to the task. But Kumar was finally beaten in the 65th minute by Shay Neal. New Zealand continued to press forward but Malaysia held on to go second in the standings behind world champions Australia on goal difference.
Malaysia’s coach Paul Revington was in a passive mood despite a second win in the tournament.
“It is good to have won back-to-back matches although we were under a lot of pressure in the second half. It was a good match as it allowed us to try out some tactics and it also proved that the players can maintain their form in successive games.
“But there is still a lot of work to be done and keeping up the consistency is one of it. There are still some aspects we have to work on like the offensive and defensive penalty corners. Generally the performance was good and gaining full points at this stage is a good start to the tournament,” said Revington.
Yesterday, Australia were victorious again – whipping Pakistan 6-0. The Australians, who struggled to down India 4-3 on Saturday, surged to a comfortable 4-0 half-time lead with Daniel Mirecki (eighth minute), Matt Gohdes (9th) and Jacob Whetton (17th and 34th).
Two more goals by Daniel Beale (45th) and Nichalas Budgeon (61st) gave Australia the biggest win in the tournament thus far.
Australian coach Ric Charlesworth was happy with his team’s performance.
He, however, felt that the opening win was a much better effort.
“But then you take any win you can against the Pakistanis. It is good to see our players make good use of the chances. We also scored a couple of penalty corner goals and that was good,” said Charlesworth.
Pakistan chief coach Akhtar Rasool attributed the defeat to the early misses in the game.
“But I guess the players were tired and the humidity got to them. The Australians were just better today and they made good use of their chances,” said Akhtar.
In another match, South Korea registered their first win by beating India 2-1.
Defender Kang Moon-kweon was the hero for the Koreans, scoring a brace in the 29th and 60th minutes. India’s goal came through Malak Singh in the 39th minute.