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April 05, 2008 20:23 PM
Malaysia Edge Poland In Opening Match
KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 (Bernama) — Malaysia edged Poland 2-1 in their opening match at the World Hockey Olympic Qualifier in Kakamigahara, Japan, today.
Despite playing cautiously, the Malaysian side coached by Sarjit Singh were caught by surprise when Poland’s striker Rachwalski Dariusz opened the scoring in the 20th minute after he deflected home a shot from the D.
The early goal brought the match to life and soon afterwards Malaysia went hunting for the equaliser. Four minutes in the second half (39th minute), Tengku Tajuddin Tengku Abdul Jalil levelled the score through a field goal.
Seven minutes later, Malaysia were awarded a penalty stroke but Poland’s goalkeeper Matuszak Arkadiusz produced an excellent save with his legs to deny penalty corner specialist S. Kuhan.
Malaysia’s winning goal came in the 58th minute also from Tengku Tajuddin who hammered home a deflection from a penalty corner effort by S. Kuhan.
Though Poland rallied hard after that, Malaysia held on to secure the three points.
Meanwhile, in the other two matches played Saturday, world ranked number one Germany thrashed Italy 8-0 while Japan beat Switzerland 2-1. Tomorrow, Malaysia play Italy, Switzerland take on Germany while Japan meet Poland (15.05).
The overall winner of this nine-day World Hockey Olympic Qualifier will secure the last place to appear at the Beijing Olympics this August.