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Australia prove their class at Sultan Azlan Shah Cup

Australia prove their class at Sultan Azlan Shah Cup image

It is probably the most high quality and exciting men’s hockey event that doesn’t end in qualification for a major event, but the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup men’s hockey tournament certainly brings out the best in its participants.

On the third day of competition, world champions Australia just proved too strong for a spirited Malaysia as they claimed a commanding 3-1 win in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup men’s hockey tournament. It was evident that Australia were a class above as they had the ball in the net after just two minutes at the Azlan Shah Stadium yesterday. Malaysia, however, were let off the hook as Daniel Beale’s effort was disallowed due to an obstruction to goalkeeper Hafizuddin Othman. But there was no denying the Aussies as Corey Weyer found the mark in the 10th minute off a penalty corner. Malaysia were then dealt a sucker punch a minute before the break after Beale got past the Malaysian defence before passing to Dylan Wotherspoon to finish in front of an open goal.

After the break, Malaysia earned their first penalty corner in the 33rd minute and captain Razie Rahim found the net but it was disallowed after a review.
The Aussies then put the final nail in the coffin when Aaron Kleinschmidt scored in the 43rd minute. Marhan Jalil pulled one back for the home team in the 53rd minute but it was nothing more than a scant consolation. Earlier, Olympic champions Argentina overcame an early scare by Ireland before prevailing 5-3.
The Irish, who were hammered 4-1 by Malaysia in their opening game on Saturday, stunned their more fancied opponents after storming into a 2-0 lead after just 17 minutes through Shane O’Donoghue (12th minute) and Sean Murray’s mazy effort five minutes later.
The South Americans, however, found their way back with a brace by Gonzalo Peillat (20th and 23rd minutes), a field effort by Lucas Vila (22nd) and Juan Gilardi’s penalty stroke (30th). Peillat then notched his second hattrick in two days from a penalty corner in the 47th minute for a 5-2 lead before Eugene Magee reduced the deficit in the 55th minute. In earlier games, Argentina beat India 3-2; England lost 4-1 to Australia before regrouping to earn a 1-1 draw against India. The next round of games on 6 March sees England play Ireland; Australia take on India and Malaysia face Argentina.

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