Australia and Argentina stay unbeaten

Australia and Argentina continued their winning ways by registering wins over Malaysia and Ireland respectively as India and England picked up their first points in day two of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

A total of 14 goals, one short of the first day, were scored but what was more interesting was that the quality of matches as there was no great disparity amongst the teams.

The teams will take a days break on Monday and play will resume on Tuesday.

In the first match of the day, India and England registered their first points of the tournament after drawing 1-1.

Both teams went into the match looking for their first win after suffering defeats in Saturday’s opening encounters. India went down 3-2 against Argentina while England lost 4-1 to Australia.

Midfielder Shilanand Lakra gave India the lead with in 14th minute only for Mark Gleghorne to convert a penalty stroke in the 52nd minute share the spoils.

India fired blanks from the nine penalty corners they were awarded in the match and they could have registered a win had they been sharper.

“ We had a lot of penalty corners and although we did not convert any, I am happy we created them.,” said Indian coach Sjoerd Marijne

“ The performance was good., with a lot of possession was better but its too bad because sometimes we rushed into it.

“ For us what is most important is we had a good draw against a good team and in this tournament it is about making steps.”

 

England had 18 circle entries but failed to make them count.

“ It was a close game and the good thing is England kept the effort and intensity up, said England coach Bobby Crutchley

“ We got a lot of ball in their circle and we just have to get better in converting some of these chances.

“That is what this tournament is about. I think there will be a lot of close games and close results and we hope to improve as we get along.”

In the second match, Argentina registered their second consecutive win.

Argentina clawed back from a two-goal deficit to register a 5-3 victory over Ireland

“ In the first quarter Ireland were really good and tough and started with the two goals, said Argentina coach Rolando Rivero

“ However in the second quarter we adjusted our game plan and I think we did it right to score those goals.

“ It is not that we did something wrong  in the first quarter but Ireland payed much better.

“ For our next match against Malaysia we will try to improve. We know its going to be tough with Malaysia having home ground advantage. Malaysia plays really well and tough and we are looking forward to it.”

Ireland,m surprised their far more illustrious opponents by taking a two-goal lead after 17 minutes of play.

Shane O’ Donoghue picked a rebound off goalkeeper Juan Vivaldi’s pads in the 12th minute

to put the Green Machines ahead.

Five minutes later Sean Murray created a magnificent run, manoeuvring his way past a fortified Argentinean defence before unleashing a powerful shot past Vivaldi.

But the euphoria in the Irish camp was quickly doused with a brace from drag-flick specialist Gonzalo Peillat via penalty corner conversions (20th and 23rd minutes), Lucas Vila’s field goal (22nd minute) and Juan Gilardi’s penalty stroke conversion (30th minute) as Argentina took charge of the match .

Argentina went 5-2 up following Peillat’s third penalty corner conversion in the 47th minute but Ireland made a late gate push through Magee eight minutes before the end of play from a field goal to narrow the gap at 5-3.

Compared to our match against Malaysia it was a good response from the players and the mentality was good.,” said Ireland coach Craig Fulton,

“ In the second quarter we made one mistake and got punished and when it got to 2-2 we were still playing okay but I think overall we did well in the first, third and fourth quarters.

“ The second quarter was our own doing which was unfortunate.”

It was all in a days work for Australia as they defeated a lack lustre Malaysia 3-1.

The win gives the Aussie top spot in the pool with six points from two consecutive wins.

As for Malaysia they only have themselves to blame as they accorded too much respect for the Aussie’s.

And by the time the home team decided to play stacking Hockey, it was too late as the Aussies had raced to a 3-0 lead.

Australia stamped their mark from the first whistle and deservingly went ahead when Corey Weyer converted their first penalty corner in the 10th minute.

A fatal mistake by Najmi Farizal Jazlan just 45 seconds before the end of the second quarter saw Australia score their second goal through Dylan Wotherspoon.

Malaysia were denied a penalty corner goal in the third quarter when Razie Rahim scored but the ball was adjudged not to have left the semi circle open Video referral.

Australia then got their third goal in the 43rd minute though Aron Kleinschmidt.

Marhan Jalil reduced the deficit in the 53rd minute but they ran out of time to trouble the Aussies.