The ‘bashing boys’ from Malaysia edged out Korea 2-1 to prove critics wrong, while defending champion Germany prevailed over Australia 4-3 in a battle of titans to reach the semifinals of the junior World Cup hockey tournament here on Thursday.
This was Malaysia’s fourth last-four finish, which came after a gap of 28 years. The contest went neck-and-neck and was locked 1-1 till the 54th minute before five-time champion Germany surged ahead when it scored two goals in the space of three minutes.
Australia removed its goalkeeper five minutes before the hooter, but Germany made it 4-2 through Niklas Wellen’s goal, which proved to be the winner in the end. The Aussies narrowed the gap, but could not stretch the thrilling contest to penalty shootouts.
In an all-Asian fixture, the Malaysians applied their body, mind and skills to dominate possession and win control against the fast-paced Koreans, who earned three penalty corners within the first 12 minutes.
Helmi Jali sent in a superb cross from the right and Shahril Saabah turned 90 degrees to his left to shoot home the first goal in the 18th minute. Both teams continued to look for openings and Korea drew level when drag-flicker Seungju You scored six minutes before half-time. The see-saw affair continued till Saabah launched a deceptive low flick to convert off Malaysia’s third short corner in the 62nd minute. Malaysia will take on France in the last-four clash.
India beats Argentina
A better-organised India defeated Argentina 4-2 in a classification match to set up a clash for the ninth spot with arch-rival Pakistan
The results (quarterfinals): Malaysia 2 (Shahril Saabah 18, 62) bt Korea 1 (Sengju You 29).
Germany 4 (Christopher Ruhr 21, Dieter-Enrique Linnekogel 55, Mats Grambusch 58, Niklas Wellen 65) bt Australia 3 (Will Gilmour 8, Dylan Wotherspoon 57, 69).
Classification matches): England 6 (James Gall 41, Luke Taylor 44, Nicholas Bandurak 48, 60, David Goodfield 51, Andrew Bull 66) bt Egypt 1 (Ramy Mohamed 10).
Spain 3 (OG 30, Borja Llroens35, Lluis Mercade 61) bt Canada 2 (Gabriel Ho-Garcia 24, Brenden Bissett 64).
Pakistan 4 (Muhammad Dilber 8, Ammad Shakeel Butt 42, 44, Muhammad Irfan 61) bt South Africa 0.
India 4 (Ramandeep Singh 4, 31, Amit Rohidas 7, Gurjinder Singh 40) bt Argentina 2 (Lucas Martinez 38, Lautaro Diaz 69).
Keywords: Junior World Cup hockey tournament