Malaysia hold Korea to 1-1 draw; Will play India in Final of Hero Asia Cup 2017

Faizal Saari's 59th minute goal clinches final berth for Malaysia

21 October


Dhaka (Bangladesh), 21 October, 2017: Malaysia held their nerve till the final hooter to make the Hero Asia Cup 2017 Final with a 1-1 draw against Korea here at the Moulana Bhashani National Stadium. With three points from their win against Pakistan in the Super 4s, Malaysia only needed to draw this match to gain 4 points and go into the Final as No.2 in the Super 4s pool standing. They will play against India on Sunday in the title clash.

It was a game hockey purist would have enjoyed to the final second. It was closely fought with Koreans yet again showcasing tactical superiority as it was a must-win game for Coach Shin Seok Kyo and his boys after having drawn two of their games earlier in the Super 4s. But Faizal Saari’s 59th minute goal dashed the Koreans hopes of inching closer to winning the 2018 Men’s World Cup spot.

At the start though, Malaysia would have felt the pain of missing out on their PC chances but Korea were tactically brilliant to outmaneuver the Malaysian attack every time it looked like they came close to scoring.  Right from the start of the match, the result seemed to be in favour of the Koreans as the Malaysian side attempted to fall back and play defensive hockey, not going in for those brave attacks and find ways to penetrate the Korean circle who played to plan just like they did against India where they drew 1-1.

Malaysia evidently struggled as there was a constant wall of defenders in the 25-yards. Korea managed one goal in the 24th minute through Jihun Yang’s superbly-struck penalty corner. The following minutes saw Korea defend that one goal with all their heart, understanding the fact that only a win could make them play the final.

The final quarter saw Malaysia remove their goal keeper and play with an extra man to enhance their attack. The trick worked as they won a crucial PC with little less than two minutes to go for the match. This was their best chance to even the score and that’s exactly what Stephen van Huizen’s men did.

Though Korea seemed like they could pull off a surprise when they won a PC with just 11 seconds for the final hooter. But a video referral in favour of Malaysia overruled the PC forcing Korea to settle for a draw.

On making the final, Stephen van Huizen said, “Today was just about fighting till the end to make the final. This was Korea’s last chance to make for the 2018 Men’s World Cup by entering the final and try to win the title. For us, it was to make sure we had to get a result today because we knew to enter the final we needed a draw. It was tense till the last second. I give all credit to the players, they did well. For the final, I just ask the boys to give their best and ensure a good contest against India.”

Next Korea will play Pakistan at 15.00 hours in the bronze medal match while India will take on Malaysia in the final at 17.30 hours.

Goal of the Match: 

Presented by: Mr. Mustafa Khair (Deputy Managing Director, FSIBIL)

Winner: Jihun Yang of Korea

Hero Man of the Match: 

Presented by:  Mr Mohammed Munawar Hossain (Member, BHF)

Winner: Seungil Lee of Korea

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