Azlan Shah Hockey: Malaysia edges out Japan 4-3 to move to top

Malaysia edges
Azlan Shah Hockey: Malaysia edges out Japan 4-3 to move to top

Azlan Shah Hockey: Malaysia edges out Japan 4-3 to move to top

The host Malaysia recorded an exciting 4-3 win over Asian Games gold medalist Japan to move to the top of the table in the 28th Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament at Ipoh on Sunday. With two wins from as many games, Malaysia is now leading the six-nation contest with a maximum of six points followed by Korea and India with four points each. Japan and Poland are still without a point while Canada got its first three points from an impressive 4-0 win over Poland.

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After losing 0-2 to India, the game against Malaysia was another tough hurdle for Japan. The visitors were, however, a little bit slower and unlucky to end the game without a point.

Malaysia had taken the command of the game from the start building a gradual 3-1 lead by the time the game was 25 minutes old. Goals by Faizal Saari in the 3rd and 25th minute with a goal from Aiman Rezam in the seventh minute were the scorers for Malaysia in the first half. For Japan the lone goal scorer was Kazuma Murata in the 17th minute.

It was in the second half that the Japanese, true to its reputation, of staging a comeback, brought the fight closer with a goal in the 37th minute by K. Watanabe before Razie Rahim scored the fourth goal for the hosts to make the score 4-2.

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Six minutes before the final whistle Koji Yamasaki scored a brilliant field goal to make the score 3-4. The Malaysians played out the rest of the time defending its one goal lead for maximum three points from the game.