By Anne Das
Malaysia’s urgency to the game against Egypt was unquestionable, and it was the desire to win and stay in the race for a berth in the final that got them the convincing result in the end of this crucial 29th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2022 International Men’s hockey tournament at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium, Ipoh, this evening.
This win gives Malaysia four points from this win and a draw against Pakistan (1-1). They lost to Korea 0-3 in the opening game.
Everything now depends on their postponed match on Sunday evening against South Africa, which was stopped due to heavy rain on Friday with South Africa leading by a goal after 13 minutes of play.
Malaysia will have to beat South Africa to attain seven points and have to go for broke with Japan in their final group game on Monday.
National coach A. Arul Selvaraj was confident that his team will beat South Africa if they played with the same zest, urgency and desire to win.
“The team played their hearts out and despite getting the goals late in the game, what matters is that they won and convincingly.
“We had a team talk and said we need to do five things – enjoy the tournament, believe in yourself and teammates, enjoy the environment and have discipline to work hard. They did all that and the strikers worked exceptionally hard.
“We have to do the same against South Africa before we can think of Japan.”
Last night, Malaysia were rewarded with an early goal for their urgency showed when Shello Silverius scored his second goal of the tournament after a brilliant move by Aiman Rozemi when he robbed the ball of an Egypt defender and went to the byline to send a cross for Shello to connect in the 13th minute.
But Malaysia allowed the determined Egyptians to get back in the game when Mahmud Abdelhakim Maudouh Mahmoud scored off their second penalty corner for the night three minutes before halftime.
The outstanding performance of Egypt’s goalkepeer Sayed Mohamed Gamal Mohamed was also a stumbling block for the Malaysians.
Firhan Ashari saved the blushes when he finally put Malaysia in the lead again in the 41st minute in a goalmouth melee after a penalty corner.
After that the Malaysians stepped up into fifth gear and were attacking Egypt at their will and were rewarded with two more quick goals in succession with Amirul Azhar scoring in the 49th minute and Shello adding to his goal tally in the 51st minute.
Shello was named the Man of the Match.
MALAYSIA 4 to EGYPT 1