22/05/2024 11:47 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 (Bernama) -- The National men’s indoor hockey squad booked a slot in the second round after a dramatic 5-4 victory over 2023 SEA Games gold medallist Indonesia in a 2024 Asia Cup Group B action in Taldykorgan, Kazakhstan, today.

Muhammad Najmi gave Malaysia the lead in the fourth minute through a field goal before Muhammad Firdaus Omar made it 2-0 seven minutes later and a few seconds before the end of first half action, Malaysia were awarded a penalty stroke that Muhammad Aslam Mohamed Hanafiah scored to make it 3-0.

The start of the second half saw Indonesia claw back into the game when Revo Priliandro knocked in a penalty corner in the 24th minute before Muhammad Najmi added his second goal of the match and Malaysia’s fourth, with a 29th minute strike.

Indonesia continued to stage a fightback when Muhamad Alfiana struck twice, first through a penalty corner in the 31st minute and a field goal in the next minute.

Undaunted by the Indonesian surge, Faridzul Afiq Mohd added Malaysia’s fifth and winning goal in the 35th minute while Indonesia reduced the deficit with a 37th minute goal from Adi Leksono.

The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) in a statement said head coach Mohd Rodzhanizam was optimistic that his charges can continue the momentum in the second round to earn a slot for the final and retain the title won in the 2022 edition held in Bangkok.

Following Malaysia into the second round was Group B runner-up Kazakhstan, Group A winner Iran and Thailand.

Malaysia will face Thailand tomorrow, and face eight times winner Iran on Friday.

The top two teams will move into the final on Saturday and earn automatic qualification to the 2025 Indoor Hockey World Cup that is scheduled in Porec, Croatia from Feb 3 to 9, 2025.


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