Hockey Sultan of Johor Cup 2016

# Malaysians lacked pace against Pakistan
# Malaysians left chasing shadows

Pakistan humiliated Malaysia with a thumping 4-1 in a Sultan of Johor Cup Under-21 Invitational hockey match at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Bahru on Wednesday.

It was simply poor hockey from the Malaysians who never got going against Pakistan, who are enjoying one of their best outings in the Sultan of Johor Cup since the tournament was inaugurated in 2011.

The players were listless, lacked cohesion and were glaringly unfit as a result of playing three matches on consecutive days. Wallace Tan’s men were left chasing shadows all night as Pakistan exploited the lack of pace in the Malaysian defence.

This defeat has virtually ruled out Malaysia’s chances of competing for the trophy in Sunday’s final.

“We tried very hard but there were mistakes, especially second and third goal. We gave the ball away. Possibly the players are tired, especially those who came from Kuantan (after playing in the Asian Champions Trophy).

“The next two matches we have to concentrate better and hope for the best in regards to the final classification. Japan is next and they are improving, as we saw them against England,” said Wallace, a former international.

Pakistan were 2-0 up even before Malaysia got out of gear as the visitors, who have won three out of three thus far, scored through Abu Mahmood’s sixth minute penalty corner and Muhammad Dilber’s 20th minute field goal.

Malaysia responded in the 25th minute through Najmi Farizal Jazlan’s penalty corner but Shah Irshad restored the two goal advantage in the 30th minute.

Pakistan piled more misery on the hosts through Ullah Sami in the 46th minute. Pakistan even briefly went two men down but Malaysia were so inept that they could not capitalise on the numerical advantage.

“There was nothing special from us. We knew Malaysia are a good side at their home ground. We were mentally prepared and expected things to be physical. We proved we were fit today,” said coachTahir Zaman.

“This tournament is full of surprises, but we are focused and keen on making the final. The match against Australia on Friday is crucial. We have the ability to beat them.”

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