SOJC: Malaysia beat Japan for third/fourth placing playoff

SOJC: Malaysia beat Japan for third/fourth placing playoff

JOHOR BAHRU: Malaysia received a big boost in the 2019 Sultan of Johor Cup (SOJC) hockey tournament yesterday when they defeated Japan 3-2 in the last league match at Taman Daya Hockey Stadium to qualify for the third and fourth placing playoff.

Coach Nur Saiful Nasiruddin’s boys are expected to meet Japan again tomorrow to decide the third/fourth placing after Japan overtook New Zealand at the fourth spot with more goals scored after both teams were tied with six points.

In tonight’s actions, Malaysia opened the score with a field goal by Muhammad Hafizi Zainudin in the fifth minute but Japan equalised via a penalty corner by Sota Ukai in the eighth minute while Rjuji Tamekuni put Japan in the lead four minutes later with a field goal.

Pressured by the turn of events, Muhammad Amirul Hamizan emerged as the hero when he slotted in two goals through a penalty corner in the 42nd minute and a field goal in the 50th minute.

The victory gave the local boys seven points to move to the third place to improve their fifth placing in last year’s edition.

Meanwhile, defending champions Great Britain and India who were tied with 10 points after playing to 3-3 draw at the same venue in evening, will meet again in the final tomorrow night.

In the closely fought match, Great Britain went ahead first in the 27th minute from a penalty corner by Ioan Wall before Andrew McConnell added another in the 32nd minute via a field goal.

Unfazed, India bounced back to score in the 48th via Shilanand Lakra and equalised the position via Mandeep Mor before adding one more goal through a penalty corner Nand Tiwari Sharda in the 57th minute.

Just as India were about to celebrate their triumph, Matthew Ramshaw brought India down to earth when he blasted in Great Britain’s third goal to tie 3-3 with India.


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