30 Mar Malaysia finish third
Malaysia pulled out all stops to sink Canada for a second time in as many days to clinch the bronze medal at the 2019n Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.
The Malaysians took their chances well to beat the Canadians 4-2 in the third placing match at the Azlan Shah Stadium.
National coach Roelant Oltmans was happy with the win as he felt that they had the better of the Canadians in both games.
“We won…. again. What more can I say? It was good performance all round and we can be happy that the players getting used to the structure.
“It is always a learning process and we had several young players to reckon with. But like I said there are a lot of positives from this match and we will take that into the next tournament,” he said.
Malaysia and Canada are due to clash at the World series final in Kuala Lumpur in late April.
Malaysia went into the match having beaten Canada 3-2 in the preliminary round match.
But it was the North Americans who started off strongly and had the Malaysians pinned in defence in the first quarter.
In the 14th minute, they struck and scored a field goal through Mark Pearson.
But the second quarter action belonged to the Malaysians who stopped three penalty corner attempts from Canada. And Malaysia went on to score three goals to take a 3-1 lead at half time.
In the 22nd minute, the Malaysians gained their first penalty corner and Nik Aiman Nik Rozemi was on hand to slam home the rebound after the initial flick was saved by the Canada keeper David Carter.
In the 29th minute, Azrai Aizad Abu Kamal who is making his senior team debut scored his first goal for the team with a field attempt.
Just as the first half was about to end veteran striker Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin scored the third goal to put Malaysia in a commanding position.
In the third quarter, the Canadians created some good chances but the Malaysians managed to keep them out.
In the 45th minute, the Malaysians were down to nine-man earned their sixth penalty corner. Faizal Saari after misfiring in the last three matches scored his sixth goal on the tournament to put Malaysia 4-1 in the lead.
The fourth quarter saw Malaysia having numerous chances to added to their tally but missed with their attempts.
Canada managed to reduce the deficit in the 59th-minute form a field goal by James Wallace.
By then Malaysia had the match sealed up and finished on the podium.
Canada coach Paul Bundy was not overly disappointed with the result.
“We played a certain structure and we wanted to see how Malaysian responded. We must look ahead at the World Series and that is the tournament that counts. There are still some players yet to join the team so we will have a better unit for the world series,” he added.