Azlan Shah Hockey: Malaysia makes a flying start with a hat trick of goals by Faizal Saari

flying start
Azlan Shah Hockey: Malaysia makes a flying start with a hat trick of goals Faizal Saari

Azlan Shah Hockey: Malaysia makes a flying start with a hat trick of goals by Faizal Saari

An emphatic 2-0 win for pre-tournament favourites India and hat-trick of goals by Namyoung Lee (Korea) and Faizal Saari (Malaysia) were the highlights of the opening day of the 28th Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament that got under way at Ipoh on Saturday.

The day belonged to the Asian teams as both Canada and Poland, only teams from other continents, ended losers.

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After India made a flying start against the Asian Games champion Japan, the hosts Malaysia recorded a comfortable 5-1 win over Poland while former giant of Asian hockey, Korea, survived an anxious second half to emerge 6-3 victor over Canada on the opening day.

Playing with some of its senior players, including goalkeeper S. Kumar, Malaysia started well with Faizal Saari and Fitri Saari keeping the last minute entrant Poland on the toes.Five of the six goals of the last game came through penalty corners. The only exception was the second Malaysian goal in the  28th minute that was scored by an opportunist Fitri Saari.

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Faizal Saari converted penalty corners in the 20th minute, 30th minute,  and 45th minute while Ashran Hanshami scored from a penalty corner in the 36th minute. The only goal for Poland was scored by Michal Kasprzyk. Intriguingly, two goals were scored in the last minute before the breather. Both the goals came from penalty corners, first for Malaysia and then for Poland.

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