Malaysia begin their journey at the Hero Asia Cup with a 5-0 victory against China in their yesterday's first Pool B match at the Maulana Bhashani National Stadium in Dhaka. -AA
Malaysia begins their campaign at the Hero Asia Cup 2017 with a strong 5-0 victory against China in their yesterday's first Pool B match at the Maulana Bhashani National Stadium in Dhaka. Right from the start, Malaysian attackers tested the Chinese defenders with quick forays into the striking circle.
They made an early break through when they won a penalty corner in the 5th minute of the match but couldn't convert the chance. However, in the 12th minute when they won back-to-back PCs, a quick-thinking Tengku Tajuddin was top-class to nudge the ball past Chinese goalkeeper Zhiwei Ao to take a 1-0 lead.
The second quarter too belonged to Malaysia as they kept China from making successful forays into their circle while their forwards continued to put the Chinese defenders to test. On a counter attack, Faizal Saari had an open goal to put the ball past the goal line and take Malaysia's lead to a comfortable 2-0.
This was followed by a field goal by Tengku Tajuddin in the 19th minute that put Malaysia three goals ahead at half-time. Though China won a PC in the 26th minute, a poor execution denied them a brilliant opportunity to reduce the goal-deficit.
Chinese defenders' haplessness continued as they conceded a PC only seconds into the third quarter. Malaysia's dragflick specialist Razie Rahim, who looked pale at the start of the match, came up with an improvised flick to find the top net and take Malaysia's lead to a formidable 4-0.
A dazzling display of skillful dribbling saw Shahril Saabah score a splendid field goal in the 35th minute to push Malaysia lead to 5-0. The goal-fest continued for Malaysia as Faizal Saari scored his third goal of the match with a field goal in the 41st minute.
Six up at the start of the final quarter, Malaysia only looked to increase their lead but their defenders dropped their guard just a little bit towards the end of the match and China capitalized as they E Wenhui scored a field goal in the 56th minute. Malaysia finally ended the match with a 7-1 victory with Ramadan Rosli scoring in the 60th minute. Next Malaysia meets defending champions Korea on October 14.
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