Team
Played Points
1 Australia 7 21
2 New Zealand 7 12
3 India 7 12
4 Malaysia 7 9
5 Pakistan 7 9
6 Canada 7 5
7 Japan 6 0
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Malaysia were on song as they defeated Japan 4-3 to go on top of the standings in the 25th edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

 

The hosts held a commendable 4-1 lead until the final 6 minutes, conceding two penalty corner goals.

 

The Malaysians scored three off their four goals from penalty corners, and even the fourth was from a decisive penalty corner attempt.

 

It was a good overall performance from the Malaysian side who were fast on the break and made life difficult for the Japanese. 

 

Malaysia had held New Zealand to a 3-3 draw the previous night while Japan lost 2-1 to India in a keenly contested match.

 

The  game got off to an electrifying start with both teams going into Attack from the first whistle.

 

Skipper Razie Rahim gave Malaysia a perfect start by converting a penalty corner in the 2nd minute.

 

But Japan were level within 60 seconds, also through a penalty corner goal with  Hiroki Sakamoto scoring.

 

However Razie scored another penalty corner in the 11th minute before Haziq Shamsul pounced on a Razie attempt from a third penalty corner to give Malaysia a 3-1 lead in the 14th minute.

 

Both teams failed to add on to the score and at halftime Malaysia led 3-1. 

 

Malaysia were awarded a penalty stroke in the 32nd minute when a penalty corner attempt by Razie hit a defender on the goal line.

 

Fitri Saari coolly slotted the ball to give Malaysia a 4-1 lead.

 

In the final quarter Malaysia played possession hockey but Shota Yamada scored from atwo penalty corners in the 54th and 59th minutes to reduce the deficit to 4-3.