IPOH – Nine times winners and defending champion Australia were a class above in the match against Malaysia after emerging 6-1 winners in the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup match at the Azlan Shah Stadium, here last night.
Both teams set a frantic pace right from the start and displayed an attacking game, keeping the 2,000 odd fans entertained.
However, once, Tom Craig put the Aussies in front by the 11th minute, the Malaysia squad under coach Stephen Van Huizen crumbled under pressure, allowing another two goals in the 23rd and 27th minutes, scored by Trent Mitton before Craig made it 4-1 in the 38th minute.
Malaysia, ranked world number 13, managed only two penalty corners in the first half but both did not result in any goals until Faizal Saari struck one penalty corner in the 42nd minute to reduce the deficit.
However, Craig who was a constant thorn in the Malaysian defence completed his hat trick in the 44th minute to make it 5-1 while Mitton joined the Aussie party by completing his hat trick in the 58th minute.
Australian coach Colin Batch said he was happy with the team’s performance today compared with yesterday since they managed only a draw against New Zealand.
Stephen meanwhile, said the players gave their all against a Australian side that was on top of their game today but unfortunately they finished second best.
“The players went all out in the first 15 minutes but a number of mistakes allowed the Aussies to score goals at crucial moments. We have to win all our three remaining matches to have a chance of finishing among the top four to advance further,” he said.
India vs Australia – 4.05pm
New Zealand vs Japan – 6.05pm
Malaysia vs Great Britain – 8.35pm