JOHOR BAHRU – Malaysia beat New Zealand 4-1 in the fifth place play-off match of Sultan of Johor Cup Hockey Championship (SOJC) 2016 at Taman Daya Hockey Stadium, this afternoon.
The national junior hockey squad opened scoring via a penalty corner by Muhammad Najmi Farizal Jazlan (6′) before Mohamad Zulhamizan Awang Abas doubled the lead via a field goal (10′)
Slack defending by Malaysia proved costly when New Zealand hit back with a field goal scoreddby Mac Wilcox (32′) to make the score 2-1.
After the break, the Malaysian boys up the ante and were rewarded with field goals from Muhammad Firdaus Fauzi (51′) and Mohamad Ashran Hamsani (69′).
For the record, Malaysia won third place in the SOJC last year (2015). Malaysia were the SOJC inaugural champions in 2011.
Meanwhile, national youth coach, Wallace Tan said he was disappointed that Malaysia failed to improve on their third placing last year (2015).
“However, I am satisfied with the efforts of the players who managed to correct their weaknesses,” he told reporters after the match.
Tan said the tournament proved to be good exposure for the junior players who were expected to improve over time.
Midfielder Syed Mohamad Syafiq Syed Cholan said he could not play his best as he had not recovered from the Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan, Pahang.
“I was still feeling tired from playing in the just concluded Asian Champions Trophy. I gave my best but luck was not on our side,” he added. – BERNAMA