Asian Champions Trophy hockey: Malaysia beat Japan 3-1, seal berth in knockouts

Five-time bronze medallist Malaysia assured themselves a place in the knockout stage with a comfortable 3-1 victory over 2018 Asian Games gold medallist Japan in a league match of the AHF Men’s Asian Champions Trophy at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Hockey Stadium here on Monday.

Five-time bronze medallist Malaysia assured themselves a place in the knockout stage with a comfortable 3-1 victory over 2018 Asian Games gold medallist Japan in a league match of the AHF Men’s Asian Champions Trophy at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Hockey Stadium here on Monday.

Najmi Jazlan (13), Hasan Azuan (37) and Silverius Shello (59) scored for Malaysia while Niwa Takuma (59) scored the lone consolation for Japan in the penultimate minute of the match as Malaysia topped the points table with three wins and one defeat in four games in the six-team round-robin competition.

Japan suffered their second defeat after two successive draws, 3-3 against former champions Pakistan and 1-1 against hosts India. They had started the event with a 1-2 defeat to another former champion Korea Republic. Japan, who have only two points from four matches, are out of contention for a place in the knockout stage as they have only one match against bottom-placed China remaining in the event.

Advertisement

Malaysia went into the lead in the 13th minute when Najmi Jazlan converted a penalty corner. Ranked 10th in the FIH World Rankings, Malaysia dominated possession in the second quarter as the scoreline stayed 1-0 at half-time.

Their efforts were hampered by cards shown to Azuan Hasan, who was first shown a green card in the 18th minute and then a yellow card in the 32nd minute. They were again reduced to 10 men in the 37th minute when Khaliq Hamirin was shown a green card.

Malaysia, coached by local coach Anthoni Arul, doubled their lead in the 37th minute when Hasan Azuan made up for his twin cards by scoring a field goal. Malaysia continued to play aggressively as Muhamad Aminudin also went into the sin-bin with a green card in the 38th minute.

Malaysia made it 3-0 in the 59th minute when Silverius Shello scored another field goal in the last minute of the match before Japan responded and reduced the margin within seconds when Niwa Takuma scored off a penalty corner.

Malaysia have one more match remaining in the six-team league when they take on Korea in their fifth match on August 9.

(IANS)

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More