A dominant Malaysia’s men’s 050s team roared back to winning ways with a 9-1 mauling of Japan and in the process set up an epic final showdown against Hong Kong in the World Masters Hockey Asian Championships 2023 on Saturday.
The gutsy 50s veterans’ team will be joined in Sunday’s finals by the 40s and 60s teams also who had qualified much earlier. The 40s team will face Hong Kong, while the 060s will go up against Japan at the Hong Kong Sports Club.
“We are excited to have met our target of all our three teams qualifying for the final,” said Dato Seri Surinder Singh Dhaliwal, the Tournament Director for Malaysia. “There were ups and downs in some matches, but we stayed on course in our mission.”
“The 050s team deserves every accolade. They fought back gallantly in their last two matches and surprised everyone to make it to the final. We must now maintain our momentum and work hard towards winning the championship,” added Dato Seri Surinder.
Like a twist from a Harry Porter film series, the 50s team had earlier went agonizingly close to being eliminated after basking at the bottom rung of the group standings with two consecutive defeats and a draw.
But their fortunes took a turn for the better following victories over South Korea 5-0 on Friday and now Japan finished third in the six-team table standings, and shared eight equal points with Singapore. Hong Kong lead the table standings with 12 points.
The Singaporeans needed to beat Korea by 17 goals in their last match to deny the Malaysians of a slot in the final. They, however, miserably fell short in their mission as they won 10-2!
The match statistics showed Japan had 10 penalty corners and the Malaysians three.
Harcharanjit Sundar scored four goals to take his individual goal tally to seven while Albert Khoo, Louis Gregory, Mohd Noor Saad, R. Chandrasekar and Kulwant Singh added to the Japanese misery.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian 040s team went down 1-5 against Hong Kong in their last group match played today.
It was the first defeat by the Malaysians in four matches and are second in the table standings with nine points while Hong Kong stays on top with 12 points followed by Singapore (4), Hong Kong SoM (4) and Bangladesh (0).