Defending champions Great Britain held back a later charge from Malaysia to pull through a 4-2 victory in the Sultan of Johor Cup hockey tournament at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium tonight.
The win placed Great Britain, the three-time champions, in the third position six points behind leader Australia (10 points) and India second with seven points.
Tom Moorhouse and Fred Newbold’s goals in the second and 17th minutes kept the Britons 2-0 ahead by the end of the first half. Jamie Golden (34th), who played in the 2019 edition of the SOJC, and Harrison Stone (43rd) increased the lead to 4-0 at the close of the third quarter.
The Malaysians mounted several counterattacks and dominated ball possession in the remaining 10 minutes of play. Muhammad Danish Aiman scored from a field goal in the 50th minute and Shahmie Irfan Suhaimi converted a penalty corner three minutes later.
The Burras had several chances towards the closing stages but muffed from two penalty corner attempts.
Malaysian coach Amin Rahim said Great Britain scored three goals from a sloppy defence until the third quarter.
“As far as I see, GB scored all three goals through poor defending. We allowed them to score in the first five minutes of each quarter. In international hockey we cannot afford such things,” said Amin.
“When we do not focus that is the time Great Britain took advantage of the situation. This is a lesson for our players. We have to always stay focused for 60 minutes of the game,” added Amin.
However, Amin also praised his boys for the determination they showed in their search for goals in the fourth quarter.
“They were determined to score and reduced the deficit. In fact, they were fighting till the very end to win the match,”
Great Britain coach Jon Bleby said the Malaysians have always been a dangerous side if given room score.
“My players will also need to be careful as to how they perform and not get in the way of the umpires as we gave the umpires an excuse to give us cards. The Malaysians really played well in the last quarter and I am happy with the three points,” said Bleby.
(Press Release: Sultan of Johor Cup Media Team)