The 12,000 seating capacity of Stadium Azlan Shah was filled to the brim as fans got wind that Malaysia has qualified for the finals on Sunday, thanks to Australia’s win against New Zealand in the earlier game.
Malaysia, never in such a comfortable position before, and only the fourth time in the history of the tournament to qualify for the finals, could just go out and enjoy a relaxing game against India. Even so, the hockey boys played as though it was already the finals, going neck to neck with their opponents, putting fans on the edge of their seats.
India never gave up their game, or gave in to home crowd pressure, pushing hard, as they had to win to qualify for the bronze medal playoff against New Zealand.
With only 50 seconds left on the clock, India nearly walked out of the game when there was an umpiring dispute. This happened because there was no video referral, which Ric Charlesworth, Australian head coach, has been calling for. When India returned to the game, Malaysia equalised from a penalty stroke.
At the press conference later, Indian coach, Michael Nobbs thought India played their best game of the tournament. He was very diplomatic about the poor call which went against India, saying, ‘This is a friendly game. We win some, we lose some.’ Malaysia, who has never won the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup before, has been unbeaten in this tournament so far, will be playing against world number 2, Australia, on Sunday.
Final score was Malaysia 2, India 2. View (and buy) high quality photos of this match at Sports Media Group Australia.
Event: Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2013: Day 5: Match 3: Malaysia (2) – India (2)
Venue: Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium, Ipoh
Date: 16th March, 2013
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