Malaysia battled Japan to a one-all draw on the opening day of the 26th Sultan Azlah Shah Cup at Stadium Azlan Shah, Ipoh on Saturday, April 29.
Former captain Razie Rahim, notched the home team’s first goal at the 8th minute scoring through a penalty corner. As the third quarter was about to end, Japan’s Yamata Shota equalised with a dramatic field goal.
“We’re not happy getting just one point today. But at the end of the day, it’s the point that matters, so we’ll take it,” said Malaysian team coach, Stephen Van Huizen to reporters.
Malaysia’s hero of the day was goalkeeper Kumar Subramiam who didn’t only save one but two goals from break-ins,
“Our boys did some fall backs during the game, but we attacked more than Japan. It’s just wasn’t our luck,” added Stephen.
While Kumar was named the Man of the Match, Japan’s team had definitely improved from their previous visit; something unexpected for the Malaysian team.
“We realised that Malaysia’s ranking is lower than the rest, but we’re happy with the draw and hope to do better the next game,” said Japan’s coach, Takahiko Yamabori.
Malaysia and Japan’s match wasn’t the only one that ended in a draw. The other two opening games namely, India vs Great Britain and Australia vs New Zealand ended the same way. Due to heavy rain, all matches were delayed. The first game started two hours later.
On Sunday, April 30 Japan will take on Great Britain at 6.05pm, the India vs New Zealand game is at 4.05pm while Malaysia’s match with world second-ranked Australia is at 8.30pm.
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