Malaysia needed at least a draw to hold on to their ranking in the points table and the boys fought till the very last minute to deny Australia their win, when Saari Faizal netted a goal at the 70th minute through a penalty corner. It was a disappointing finish for Australia, who didn’t imagine they would be run that hard, or that they could let two points slip off just at the final 30 seconds.
The Malaysian fans cheered as though their team had already won the tournament. Yes, it was full house again – the heavy rain earlier did not deter fans from converging at the stadium to watch the game. Even the game went on despite intermittent rain.
Despite Australia making more than twenty penetrations in the field, Malaysia did not yield, thanks to a solid defence, especially the formidable goalkeeper S. Kumar. He was in his element, saving ball after ball. Australian coach Ric Charlesworth said that at any other time, they would have won the game comfortably.
This draw gave Australia and Malaysia one point each. Australia now leads the points table with 7, followed by Malaysia, also 7 points, but in second place because of fewer goals scored. There are two more matches to play, and Malaysia has to win at least one, to book a slot in the finals this Sunday.
Final score was Malaysia 1, Australia 1. View (and buy) high quality photos of this match at Sports Media Group Australia.
Event: Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2013: Day 3: Match 3: Malaysia (1) – Australia (1)
Venue: Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium, Ipoh
Date: 12th March, 2013
Note: View larger images by clicking on an image once this page has completely loaded. Then navigate by clicking on the right or left side of image.