Malaysia gave local hockey fans something to cheer about, by winning their match against Korea, 3 – 2. Compared to the other teams where many of the players are making their international debut, Malaysia is one of the more “experienced” teams. However, hockey is a very swift sport and with the teams all ranking pretty closely, matches can go either way.
Being the host country, Malaysia undeniably has home advantage. The fans were behind them 100% of the way, even though they were put on the edge of their seats at some points of the match when Malaysia, as usual, suffered a lapse in concentration, which Korea took full advantage to score the equaliser. Malaysia may be the lowest ranked in this tournament, but they certainly stepped up their level, thanks to the cheering fans.
Korea is a two-time Champion in this Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, in 1996 and 2010, when they were the Joint Champions by point, when rain washed out the final game. The Koreans’ steely determination are well-known throughout the world, where at one time, they won all hockey titles in Asia. Korea is trying to revive those glorious days.
On the other hand, Malaysia was “second best” three times at this Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. Will they be able to lift the trophy this year? If last night’s performance by veteran Chua Boon Huat, who scored two late goals, was anything to go by, I’d say Malaysia would be giving the rest of the teams in this tournament a good run for their money.
The final score was Malaysia 3, Korea 2. View (and buy) high quality photos of this match at Sports Media Group Australia.
Event: Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2013: Day 1: Match 3: Malaysia (3) – Korea (2)
Venue: Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium, Ipoh
Date: 9th March, 2013
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