The contest for the third and fourth place between the hosts Malaysia and Argentina in the Sultan of Johor Cup was an entertaining one. Malaysia’s fast-paced and pressurising game helped them to a 3-2 win and a bronze medal.
The determination of the hosts was evident from the get-go, as star striker Shahril Saabah converted a penalty corner in the 7th minute. Argentina weren’t to be left behind, as Santiago Tarazona put one in the back of the net from an angle off a pass. Malaysia immediately floored the pedal and raised the stakes with Najmi Jazlan converting a penalty corner in the 17th miinute.
Argentina could not convert their penalty corner and the first half ended with Malaysia leading 2-1. The hosts had more possession, but the shots on goal and circle penetrations were almost equal for both teams.
Malaysia were relentless in the second half, attacking the Argentine post straight away and be awarded a penalty corner in the 40th minute. In a repeat of his shot in the first half, Najmi Jazlan converted it and put Malaysia ahead by 2 goals. Argentina had a close shot on goal in the 47th minute but the Malaysian custodian did well to beat it away.
Argentina would be gifted a goal in the form of a fumbled pass from a Malaysian player near their own post that lobbed high in the air. Nicolas Keenan rushed in and smashed it into the back of the net. It was a particularly shoddy paly from the hosts. Malaysia tried to redeem themselves in the dying moments of the game as Saabah made a good solo run to the Argentine post but his shot was off target. The match ended with Malaysia victorious. Argentina finish in fourth place.Published 18 Oct 2015, 16:36 IST