Malaysia achieved their first win in this tournament by defeating Canada 4-3. However, they remain bottom of pool B due to goal difference. “If we had scored one more goal we would have avoided playing New Zealand in the quarter finals”, said Malaysia’s coach Muhammad Dhaarma Raj. “Today we played so much better than in our two previous matches.”
The match started at high pace with Canada being quick to force a penalty corner. The penalty corner resulted in a penalty stroke which was duly converted by team captain Scott Tupper (4’). However, Malaysia bounced back immediately when Ahmad Jalil (5’) fired the ball home. The host nation took the lead midway through the first half when Muhammad Saabah’s (19’) attempt found its way into the net. Canada equalized just before halftime through Gabriel Ho-Garcia (30’).
The second half was also an entertaining affair with both sides having several opportunities to score. Another penalty corner goal from Muhammad Saabah (40’) brought Malaysia up 3-2 before Tupper (54’) converted another penalty stroke to level the score. The stroke had come off a penalty corner. Again, the hosts responded directly with another goal from Jalil (55’) much to the delight of the enthusiastic crowd in the Stadium Wisma Belia. Canada fought hard to equalize but couldn’t break through the Malaysian defense.
“We give full credit to Malaysia, they were too good today”, said Canada’s coach Paul Bundy. “They needed to win and this is what they did.”