Karachi (HRNW): Malaysia extended Pakistan’s misery when they edged the green-shirts 1-0 in their match of Sultan Azlan Shah Cup at the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh on Wednesday.This was the fourth consecutive defeat for the Green-shirts. However, it was an improved performance from Pakistan as they had lost their previous three matches with big margins.Pakistan had lost to India 5-1, to Australia 4-0, won 3-1 against Canada and gone down against New Zealand 5-3.Malaysia scored an early goal and then lived dangerously for long periods before edging Pakistan 1-0.Skipper Mohd Razie Rahim scored the only goal with a direct flick off their first penalty corner attempt in the third minute.
The Green-Shirts, who had conceded 14 goals in the previous three games, played very defensively against Malaysia.
Malaysia had another penalty corner late in the second quarter, but Shahril Saabah failed to make it count.
Pakistan should have equalised in the 34th minute when Ajaz Ahmad had only keeper Hairi Rahman to beat but he failed to score.
Pakistan muffed two penalty corners as Malaysia weathered Pakistan’s onslaught.
The last quarter was littered with mistakes from Malaysia, but Pakistan failed to take advantage of those as Malaysian goalkeeper Hairi Abdul Rahman was superb in the cage.
The last five minutes was an agonising period for the Malaysians as the Pakistanis launched a series of attacks but the visitors’ finishing was poor. The last time Malaysia defeated Pakistan was in the World Hockey League Semi-Final (3-1) in 2013 in Johor Baru.
Pakistan play their next match against Japan. Malaysia face India on Friday.
Mathematically, the Malaysians can still make the final. They have to beat India in their last match on Friday by a big margin.
“We played well in patches,” said Malaysia’s coach Stephen van Huizen. “We scored from one penalty corner and maintained the lead.”
He played down Malaysia’s chances of making the final, saying: “We have to beat India by a huge margin. Let’s just go out and play a good game against India,” he said.