Boys’ hockey team strikes historic gold in YOG in Argentina

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The odds were against them but the national Under-18 boys’ team upset favorites India 4-2 in the final to win the 5s gold medal in the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Sunday night.
The Malaysians, showing plenty of guts and determination did not allow India’s early lead to rattle them after skipper Vivek Sagar Prasad scored after only two minutes.
Malaysia leveled the score at 1-1 through Firdaus Rosdi two minutes later but a minute later it was India in the lead with Prasad once again getting his name into the scoresheet. The 2-1 lead remained till halftime.
After the breather, Malaysia came roaring back and it was prolific scorer Akhimullah Anuar who got into the act to make it 2-2 before skipper Amirul Azhara steered the team ahead on 16 minutes.
Fittingly, Akhimullah, Malaysia’s top hitman at the Parque Polideportivo Roca Stadium, with 22 goals, hit the fourth goal for the team in the 19th minute for the stunning win over the Indians.
The hockey gold was Malaysia’s second gold in the YOG after Goh Jin Wei won the women’s singles gold. The former world junior champion in 2015 (in Peru) beat China’s Wang Zhiyi 16-21, 21-13, 21-19 in the final.
Both gold medals, in badminton and hockey, wrote history for Malaysia in the Youth Olympic Games. – BY RIZALO ABDULLAH
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