KEPUTUSAN MALAYSIA VS AUTRALIA FINAL PIALA SULTAN JOHOR 2011 REMAJA BAWAH 21 TAHUN 12 NOVEMBER – LIVE KEPUTUSAN FINAL PIALA SULTAN JOHOR REMAJA BAWAH 21 2011
MALAYSIA 3-2 AUSTRALIA
Malaysia qualified for the final of the inaugural Sultan Johor Cup when they hammered India into submission by winning 5-1 at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Baru.
A final appearance, coming almost a year after their seniors had made it into the final of the Asian Games in China last year augurs well for hockey in the country but credit must be given to the team that were not given a ghost of a chance given the fact that they were without two key players for this tournament.
But the 18 players here in Johor Bahru showed they were made of sterner stuff as they defied odds, having lost the opening match 2-1 to Australia and drawing the next 1-1 against New Zealand to qualify with three consecutive wins of Asian teams, South Korea, Pakistan and India today.
Malaysia will take on Australia in the final at 2035H and expect it to be a thrilling affair with Australia having the psychological edge. Nonetheless Malaysia will play with the advantage of the 12th man, being the enthusiastic Johor fans who have encouraged the team every step of the way.
It was a capacity crowd at the stadium and while the majority were rooting for the home team, the Indian fans were not to be left out as a size able number were also at the stands urging India on.
The match turned into a free for all in the 9th minute as Talwinder Singh from India and Norhizzat Sumantri squared off against each other. And while Talwinder was shown a red , Norhizzat was sent to the sin bin.
India then forced a series of five penalty corners in succession and it was duly rewarded as Harpreet Singh flicked home, as Mohammad Hazrul Faiz Ahmad Sobri in the Malaysian goal failed to make a clean stop.
The setback did not deter the Malaysians and with Fitri Saari pulling the strings, they started taking advantage of their numerical advantage and forced penalty corners in the 15th, 16th and 17th minutes.
And it was off the third penalty corner that skipper Muhammad Noor Faeez Ibrahim found the mark, with a low drag flick that had Indian custodian Harmanpreet Singh beaten all the way.
The crowd the cheered every Malaysian move, encouraging the players and making such a din that hearing the person next to you speak seemingly impossible. And though Malaysia pressed on for a halftime lead, they just failed to find the mark.
In the second half the Malaysian approach was rather casual but hasty in their moves. In their eagerness to attack, the Malaysian players left gaps in defence but luckily the Indians fail to expose the fraility.
And Malaysia were awarded a penalty corner in the 45th minute from which they scored the second goal. Instead of a direct hit, Faeez relayed the ball to the far post for Mohd Izad Jamaluddin to steer into goal. Malaysia led 2-1 and the stadium erupted with joy.
Malaysia survived three consecutive penalty corners in the 55th to 57th minutes and when they struck back, India felt the sting.
A move from the right saw Mohd Ramadhan relaying the ball to Mohd Shamim Yusof whose deft touch saw the ball lifted past a bewildered Harmanpreet. And Malaysia were 3-1 up with a place in the final on the horizon.
Faeez put the issue beyond doubt in the 59th minute, scoring Malaysia’s fourth and his second goal of the night via a penalty corner in the 59th minute.
By the time Shazril Irwan Nazli scored Malaysia’s fifth in the 61st minute, the party had already started on the terraces and Australia stand in the way of a Malaysian win in the final.
And Harpreet Singh was also sent off in the 69th minute, rubbing salt into the Indian wounds