Both teams had narrow wins on opening day and started the match cautiously, not wanting to risk falling behind early. Things started to heat up after ten minutes. South Africa bobbled their first penalty-corner but Matthew Brown made no mistake on the second one, slotting the ball high out of reach of Hafizuddin Othman in the Malaysian goal.
The Asian Champions reacted immediately and besieged the South African circle, calling keeper Rene De La Peyre into action left and right. He stood his ground well but was fooled by a deflection from his own defender on a free hit drilled into the circle in the 27th minute. Malaysia had multiple chances to take the lead in the final minutes of the period but South Africa were kept afloat by De La Peyre, in fine form tonight, and the break was reached on a tied score.
After another period of domination, Malaysia logically took the lead in the 43th minute by Firhan Ashari, turning around at the top of the circle and blasting the ball in the backboard.
Play was fast and entertaining and it was soon the turn of South Africa to be threatening, earning a penalty-corner after Ignatius Malgraff cut through the whole Malaysian defense. The corner was upgraded to a penalty-stroke but Matthew Brown’s attempt was well guessed by the keeper, maintaining the narrow Malaysian lead.
South Africa pushed desperately for the elusive equalizer but Malaysia did not break down, protecting the 3 points for the win until the end to stand alone at the top of the standings in Pool D.