Malaysia showed great fighting spirit during its 3-3 draw with New Zealand in the opener of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2016 championship at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium, Ipoh on Wednesday, April 6.
The first half action saw equal fighting chances but both teams failed to benefit from their respective penalty corner shots. However, Malaysia succeeded in scoring the first goal through a field goal by Firhan Ashaari. Meor Azuan’s serve into the opponent territory was completed by Firhan Ashaari at the final seconds of the first half.
Refusing to cave in, New Zealand did not have to wait long to bring them to a tie when Nicholas Wilson exhibited great dribbling skills by out-manoeuvring three Malaysian players before striking home in the 22nd minute.
Things worsened for the national squad when Wilson scored his second field goal in the 34th minute.
In the 44th minute, Malaysia was rewarded a penalty corner that was successfully made by Razie Rahim to bring the score to a 2-2 draw.
Several minutes later, a combination of youth and senior national players managed to bring about favourable results again.
Through a penalty corner shot again, Malaysia utilised smart tactics and Shahril Saabah’s strike managed to bring the national squad ahead.
Subsequent attacks by New Zealand managed to level the score through Simon Child’s penalty corner shot in the 55th minute.
The score line remained at 3-3 till the end of play.