Pakistan strolled to a comfortable 4-1 win over Argentina at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium.
 
And both the teams are to battle it again for the bronze medal on Sunday as Pakistan finished third in the standings with Argentina fourth.
 
“The scoreline is flattering but I think Argentina did not go all out and neither did we as we lay each other again to determine the bronze,” said Pakistan coach Manzoorul Hassan.
 
“We had set a podium finish target and god willing we hope to achieve it. It has been a valuable learning lesson for us and hopefully we continue to improve over the next few months.”
 
Pakistan took an early lead in the 6th minute when Ahmad Shakeel Butt converted a penalty corner.
 
And in the 14th minute Pakistan scored their second as Muhammad Dibler sent in a cross from the left that Muhammad Arslan Qadir tapped into goal with Argentina keeper Tomas Matias caught in no mans land.
 
Argentina were awarded four penalty corners in the 10th, 16th, 18th and 20th minute but not once did they force Pakistani keeper Amin Yusof into making a save.
 
Pakistan got their third in the 31st minute as Dilber’s reverse stick hit from the top of the semi circle had Tomas beaten all the way.
 
A minute later Dilber was on target again as he deflected a cross by Shakeel into goal for a 4-0 lead.
 
Argentina reduced the deficit in the 47th minute when Matias Eduardo converted a penalty corner.

 

India lost the final of the 2nd Sultan of Johor Cup last year but Manpreet Singh turned out to be a winner.

For the 21 year old that hails from Mithapur, Punjab, won over the heart of a Malaysian girl. And it was no puppy love for the duo are now in a serious relationship.

Malaysia qualified for the final of the 3rd Sultan Johor Cup by defeating Pakistan 4-2 in a thrilling match at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru.
 
With the win, Malaysia has 12 points, the same as India and the two teams will play in Sunday’s final, although they have a match against each other on Saturday which is of academic in nature as their points is unassailable by third placed Pakistan.
 
Malaysia had made the final in the inaugural edition in 2011 and won the title while India were the losing finalists against Germany last year where Malaysia finished last.
 
Malaysia started off strongly, forcing penalty corners in the 6th and 7th minutes but failed to get on target.
 
And in the 10th minute Malaysia coul;d have gone ahead but Firhan Ashaari was a trifle too late to take a shot and the Pakistani defenders cleared the danger.
 
Pakistan started gaining confidence and Muhammad Dilber broke through on the right and his shot from the edge of the semi circle whizzed past the outstretched legs of keeper Muhd Hafizuddin Othman and the upright in the 13th minute.
 
Pakistan went into the lead in the 26th minute as Muhammad Suleman raced through on the right and his cross was met by Diber who deflected it past Hafizuddin.
 
Malaysia were on level terms in the 28th minute when Mohd Zulhairi Hashim converted a penalty corner, sending his drag flick wide of Pakistani keeper Mazhar Abbas.
 
Malaysia took the lead in the 40th minute when Shahril Saabah’s penalty corner attempt hit Mazhar’s pads and crept over the goal line.
 
Pakistan forced three penalty corners in the 45th, 47th and 48th minutes and off the third attempt by Muhammad Tousiq the ball hit Malaysian skipper Fitri saari on the foot and umpire Grant Hudley awarded a stroke. Tousiq converted it and Pakistan were level at 2-2.
 
Malaysia took the laed in the 52nd minute when Fitri Saari tucked the rebound away after the initial attempt by Shahril was charged down by the Pakistani defence.
 
Mohd Syamim Yusof then deflected in a cross by Rashid Baharom to make it 4-2 with five minutes remaining and the celebrations in the stands started as Malaysia booked its spot in the final.

India has virtually sealed its place in the final of the 3rd Sultan of Johor Cup when they defeated Korea 6-1 at the Taman Daya Hockey stadium in Johor Baru.

Argentina registered their first win the the 3rd Sultan of Johor Cup when they defeated England 3-0 at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium.

 

India turned on a sizzling display of attacking hockey to defeat Pakistan 4-0 in a clash of the archrivals at the Sultan of Johor Cup in Johor Baru.

 

Malaysia recorded their third win in as many matches when they defeated England 3-1 at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium.

Korea saw victory snatched away from them as they conceded an equaliser six seconds from time against Argentina at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium.

 

Malaysia will be looking towards a win in the match against England on Wednesday. But they are well aware that the familiar foes could well pull the rug beneath them and thus will be cautious in their approach.

Having won both their matches thus far, a 4-2 win over Argentina followed by a 5-1 win over Korea on Monday night, Malaysia will inch nearer to Sunday's final if they can defeat England.

Malaysia played the English in three matches in early August in Leeds. Although skipper Fitri Saari was not in the team for the matches due to commitments with the senior side, he is well aware of the pitfalls if England are taken lightly.

"England may have lost both their matches but they are a good side and we must be cautious against them," said Fitri.

"We have a winning run that we should maintain and the English will be a stern test.

"They can derail our hopes of making the final , and thus we need to make use of our chances and plug the leaks in our defence."

Although the tea has downplayed the importance of the SOJC, the Malaysian hockey Confederation president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad shah wants them to win the tournament.

"We are the Asian champions, hence I see no reason why we should not win the tournament," said Tengku Abdullah.

"Although we have won two matches, I believe we can play better and need to cut out simple mistakes that allow opponents to score."

For England, the learning process continues.

"We played thrice against malaysia and it went down to shootouts to determine the winner. Malaysia are really a great side and have skillful players and it will be a great learning mission for my players," said coach Jonathan Bleby.

"We had some 17 penalty corners in two matches but have yet to be effective in that department. Hopefully things will look good against malaysia."

Meanwhile, the match of the day will obviously be between Pakistan and India.

Though the match is at junior level, the clash between these two countries at any level will no doubt be an attraction for fans.

And for Pakistan coach Manzoorul Hassan, the rivalry between the two teams is healthy and gives world hockey something to look forward to.

"There have been many matches between these two countries at senior and junior level and I have been involved in many matches,' said Manzoorul.

"But to me, the final of the 1975 World Cup stands out as the best match ever played as both the teams showed remarkable skills. Although we lost the final, I must say that it still ranksa s the best ever match the two countries played.

"Coming back to this match, we will have to be at our very best if we are to gain anything as the Indians have shown they are the team to beat."

India were the losing finalist last year and they know that a win will give them an advantage to make the final.

"It will be a pressure cooker situation as is the case when India plays Pakistan," said coach Greg Clark.

"Both teams are out to take a step closer to the final and emotions are high. This is my first "derby" kind of match and I am looking forward to it."

The bid by Malaysia for the hosting rights for the 2018 World Cup is a strong one.

And the International Hockey Federation (FIH) will make the decision by November 7 this year on just who will host the 2018 event that will see participating teams increased from 12 to 16. 

Four official proposals to host the men’s World Cup have been made, with a further three submissions being made for the women’s equivalent. The National Associations of Australia, England, India, Malaysia, and New Zealand have all put extremely strong cases forward in an attempt to lure the sport’s top properties to their territory.

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