IPOH – Malaysia’s campaign in the 24th edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Hockey Tournament was tarnished by a 2-4 defeat to New Zealand in the opening match at the Azlan Shah Stadium last night.
Malaysia paid dearly for its porous defence in the first half when the opponent scored in the 3rd minute via Nick Haig.
National goal keeper S. Kumar was beaten again when New Zealand skipper Simon Child netted the ball into the Malaysian goal in the 5th minute.
Coached by Tan Beng Hai, the national team worked hard to restrict the movements of the New Zealand squad before scoring a goal in the 19th minute through Muhammad Ramadan Rosli.
Trying hard to win the title since the its first edition in 1983, Malaysia equalised in the 52nd minute through Mohd Shahrun Nabil Abdullah.
New Zealand strengthened their position via a penalty corner by Andy Hayward in the 55th minute and scored their fourth goal in the 57th minute via Shay Neal.
In other matches this evening, defending champion Australia trounced Canada 7-0, while India drew 2-2 with South Korea.
Canada vs South Korea – 4.10 pm
New Zealand vs India – 6.10 pm
Australia vs MALAYSIA – 8.10 pm