Malaysia edge Korea

THE LONDON DISPATCH
Malaysia defeated South Korea 1-0 and stayed in the hunt for a quarter-final place in the World Hockey League Semi-Final at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

It was a do or die battle for the Malaysians.

But a Mohamed Razie Rahim penalty corner in the 35th minute sealed the match but not before the Koreans staged a fierce fightback in the last two minutes.

They earned three penalty corners in that period with the clock showing 17 seconds to go.

The Malaysians literally threw their bodies in a desperate move to get the ball out of the D. All that pain paid off as they clinched their first points of the tournament.

But as coach Stephen van Huizen said they have not confirmed their berth yet. They play China today and that will decide the final berth from Group A.

The Koreans who have yet to win a point will play England.

“It was a real battle out there. But we prevailed. The players knew that nothing less than a win will do. They threw themselves at the Koreans to stop them and we have a few injuries going into the next match against China. We want to win that game as well,” he said.

The Koreans were the early aggressors as they dominated the play in the first quarter.

The Koreans had at least three good chances in front of goal while the Malaysians hardly entered the Korean D during the opening quarter.

Still, the quarter ended goalless.

The second quarter did not produce any surprise as the game continued with the same trend.

But the only difference being the Koreans had two penalty corner which was well saved by the Malaysian defenders. The half time score remained at 0-0.

The third quarter was more promising for the Malaysians as thy kept up a string of attacks.

In the 35th minute they worked out a penalty corner and Mohamed Razie Rahim scored with a direct drag flick. The Malaysians led 1-0.

In the 41st minute, Razie made a fool of himself and earned a yellow card, leaving a 10-man Malaysia to defend the lead.

The Koreans stepped up and started being aggressive. They earned their third penalty corner in the 44th minute.

The Malaysians defended well and their counter attack almost worked. But the Malaysians faced yet another harrowing last quarter as they were reduced to nine men when Faiz Helmy was yellow carded in the 45th minute.

The Malaysians defended desperately and in the 56th minute goalkeeper S. Kumar pulled off a brilliant save to keep them in the game.

The Koreans maintained the attacks and three penalty corners came their way in the last two minutes. The Malaysians managed to hold them back and take the match.