Malaysia failed in its bid to win the bronze at the 9th Asia Cup Men’s International Hockey Tournament losing 3-1 to Pakistan.
The game started well with both sides fighting hard to score. When Faizal Saari gave the team their first goal in the 34th minute the crowd went wild but it was short-lived, as barely a minute later Pakistan’s Haseem Khan equalised before the whistle blew for half time.
The second half saw a keen fight between the two, but Pakistan took the lead in the 54th minute from a penalty corner, which was converted by Muhammad Imran.
Malaysia reacted immediately and netted a goal but it was disallowed. To add salt to injury they scored an own goal in the 56th minute allowing Pakistan to stretch their lead to 3-1 and along with it the 9th Asia Cup bronze medal.
It was a huge disappointment for all Malaysians present from the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) to the fans.
MHC President Tengku Abdullah was visibly disappointed with the overall performance. He described the team’s penalty corner conversions and finishing as bad. “We need to address these problems if we want to results”.
Similar sentiments were echoed by Coach Revington. Even Faizal Saari admitted to the media that he had made mistakes during the game.
Notwithstanding that, Malaysia has secured a berth in the World Cup at the Hague next year and this was affirmed when Korea beat India 4-3 in the final match that followed soon after.
Tengku Abdullah cautioned the players that although they have made it to the World Cup they have to buck up.
Despite winning the World Cup berth the fans were not entirely happy. They had expected the home team to be on the podium.