The second day of Sultan Azlan Shah Cup on Sunday, March 4 saw a draw in the game between India and England. Shilanand Nakra scored the opening goal for India in the 14th minute while England’s Mark Gleghorne equalised in the 52nd minute. The game ended with a 1-1 score line.
Ireland started strong in their game against Argentina, scoring two goals by the end of the second quarter. The first goal was netted by Shane O’Donoghue, followed by Sean Murray. Argentina took their chances and scored their first goal via a penalty corner by Gonzalo Peillat, followed by a field goal by Lucas Vila.
Peillat did it again by converting another penalty corner shot in the 23rd minute. Seven minutes later, Juan Gilardi scored through a penalty stroke. Peillat’s hat trick came in the third quarter from a penalty corner. It was an intense final quarter, as Eugene Magee from Ireland sounded the board in the 54th minute. The match ended 5-3 in Argentina’s favour.
Crowd began filling the stadium, as they waited expectantly for Malaysia’s match against Australia. The Kookaburras were one up in the 10th minute of the first quarter through Corey Weyer’s goal. Australia went two up from a field goal by Dylan Wotherspoon.
The third quarter was rather lively as the re-energised Tigers tried to match their feisty opponents. Although Malaysia managed to save three penalty corners, Aaron Kleinschmidt scored Australia’s third goal. After several forays into the Australian’s half, the Tigers got their first goal in the final quarter through Marhan Jalil. The game ended with a 3-1 score line. Australian Daniel Beale was named Player of the Match.
“It’s definitely a close game. We’ve to give the Malaysians credits for their tenacity and the way they changed tactics,” said Australia’s coach, Colin Batch.
“Having to face Australia, the world’s top-ranked team, is indeed an honour. The Aussies are well-organised. They’ve solutions for every encounter and rotate their players well. I thought we could do better, but credits to the Malaysian team for its ability to neutralise and minimalise chances for the Aussies. Our defense did a pretty good job in the second half. This game will help them get into a good playing shape,” said Malaysia’s coach, Stephen Van Huizen.
Monday, March 5 is a rest day. Matches will resume on Tuesday, March 6. The fixtures are as follow: England vs Ireland at 4 pm. India vs Australia at 6pm and Malaysia vs Argentina at 8.30pm. All matches will be played at the Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Stadium Ipoh.