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09 Oct 2018

Kiwis rally to hold Malaysia to a 5-5 draw Featured

 Malaysia blew a three-goal lead to end with a 5-5 draw against New Zealand in their third Sultan of Johor Cup tie at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium.


The Malaysians scored four goals in the first quarter and even regained the lead in the fourth quarter.

But their efforts came to nil when the Kiwis hit them with each telling attack.

The Malaysian defence was chaotic and failed to defend well especially the penalty corners. 

In the end, they paid a heavy price despite their attacking prowess.

Malaysian coach Nor Saiful Zaini said he was disappointed with the result as they should have wrapped up then tie easily.

“We had the chances to win but blew it. But then again this is the material we have at hand and it is not good enough. It is always a learning curve for the players and they must realise that international hockey demands a lot out of you.

“Our defence was poor. The New Zealand side too had their weaknesses and we exploited it early. But we were unable to sustain the pressure. That only comes from experience which our team lacks,” he said.

It was a match between two teams seeking their first win of the tournament. New Zealand had lost to Britain (2-3) and India (1-7) while the Malaysians fell to India (1-2) and Australia (1-6).

The first quarter provided thrilling action with six goals.

The Malaysians led 4-2.

Mohamed Mohamed scored in the seventh minute and Shello Silverious added the second in the ninth minute for a great start.

Then Adam Mamat added the third off another field goal before the Kiwis replied through a Reuben Andrews penalty corner. Mohamed Abu Kamal scored a field goal in the 12th minute but Andrews managed to reduce the deficit in the 15th-minute form another direct penalty corner flick.

It had seemed the Malaysians were going to romp home easy winners.

But the second quarter saw the Kiwis closing game with goal number three in the 30th minute through Sam Hiha.

From then on it was the New Zealand side that showed strength in their attack and with the mistakes coming off the Malaysian defence it was a matter of time that the fourth goal would come.

A third penalty corner in the 48th minute allowed the Kiwis to draw level with Andrews scoring with a direct drag flick.

But the Malaysians finally got back to their goalscoring act. 

They earned a penalty corner in the 57th minute and Mohamed Mohamed scored easily as the New Zealand side had replaced their goalkeeper Louis Becket with Andrews as their kicking back.

But the Malaysians defence continued to play like novices and the Kiwis hit them in the 58th minute with a field goal from Sam Hiha to end the match at 5-5.

New Zealand coach Colin Bryce was happy with the result considering they were chasing four goals against the host.

“It was an exciting game and we really feel good for the players in fighting back after falling behind early. It was a bad start for us but we managed to get back slowly and earned a point. I am proud of the players for their display,” he said.

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