The Speedy Tigers clawed back from a goal down to hold South Korea to a 2-2 draw in their third international friendly match at the Jingcheon Sports Complex in Seoul on Sunday.
“Another strong performance from the Speedy Tigers. Even though we were losing 2-1, we did remarkably well to equalise three seconds from regulation time. The players kept the pressure on the Koreans for the equaliser,” said national coach A. Arul Selvaraj.
“However, we must do much better with our final touches, especially in the semi-circle. We have to address this department before the Asian Games,” he added. He also blamed the poor level of umpiring.
“We played under pressure as both the umpires blew more for Korea. However, we want to play with two Korean umpires in the final friendly to prove we can beat our rivals.”
The Malaysians were held to a 2-2 draw in the first match of the friendly series last Wednesday and lost 3-2 in the second match.
On Sunday the Speedy Tigers scored in the 27th minute through Azrai Aizad but failed to hold on to the lead as the Koreans equalised in the 31st minute and then led 2-1 in the 34th minute.
The Malaysians earned a penalty stroke three seconds to the final whistle and Razie Rahim converted for a draw.
It was the third time Malaysia had failed to defend their lead against the world No. 9 Korea. Both teams will play the last match today (Tuesday, June 27).
Both teams are preparing for the upcoming Asian Champions Trophy in Chennai, India from July 3-12, which will serve as a precursor to the Hangzhou Asian Games from Sept 23-Oct 8. The gold medallist at the Asian Games will qualify for the Paris Olympics.