The 23rd edition of Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, international invitational men’s field hockey tournament, kicked off at Stadium Azlan Shah in Ipoh yesterday with a first match between Australia and China.
Australia are top-ranked in this tournament, while China is at the bottom. In fact, although this year’s tournament will not see both Pakistan and India playing, due to respective reasons, it will still be interesting because out of six teams, four are World Cup qualifiers, which will participate in the Netherlands this May.
Although Australia trounced China 7-nil, one could see that Australia didn’t step on the gas. They were taking it as a warm up match, reserving their energy under extremely humid conditions.
The Chinese boys certainly took home a valuable experience. Australian coach Ric Charlesworth even praised them, saying that they created three or four scoring chances. China is a young team – the average age of the players is 22 only.
China will face South Africa today while Australia face Canada on Sunday.
Event: 23rd Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2014: Day 1 – Australia (7) – China (0)
Venue: Stadium Azlan Shah, Ipoh
Date: 13th March, 2014
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