IPOH – Malaysia ended their 24th Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Championship campaign in last place after suffering an embarrassing 1-3 defeat to Canada in a penalty shootout after the match had ended in a 4-4 draw.
Playing at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium, the hosts failed to contain Canada in their second meeting after beating the latter 4-1 in Saturday’s match.
Captain Muhammad Razie Abdul Rahim opened the scoring through a second minute penalty corner, before Gabriel Ho-Garcia equalised in the 16th minute.
Malaysia then scored the next two goals via Faizal Saari (19th minute) and Muhammad Firhan Ashari (23rd minute), but Canada again levelled the tie when Gabriel completed his hat-trick in the 26th and 32nd minutes.
In the 37th minute, Malaysia went ahead once more through a penalty corner, but Canada had the final say in the 49th minute to force a penalty shootout.
Speaking to reporters after the game, national hockey squad manager Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad said the players needed to take the loss as a lesson.
“It is good as well that we lost or finished last in this championship although we recently became champions in Singapore, this is a great lesson for us.
“I see this (sixth place) as serious for them because although it was a match to determine 5th-6th placing, it was ‘a must’ for us to get fifth place to qualify for the Olympics,” he said.
In the match for 3rd-4th placing, India beat South Korea 4-2 on penalties after both teams were tied 2-2 in regulation time.
Meanwhile, defending champion Australia and New Zealand will face off in the final. – BERNAMA