Ipoh: Malaysia produced the first upset in the Azlan Shah tournament when they put in an impressive display to beat Beijing Olympic-bound New Zealand 2-0 in their second match at the Azlan Shah Stadium, here Sunday.
Starting the first-half playing fast and accurate passings, the Malaysian side broke the deadlock when midfielder Azlan Misron picked a loose ball from a melee inside New Zealand's danger area and slammed home the opener, in the 33rd minute.
In the second-half, the Malaysian side were more aggressive in their attacks. And in the 43rd minute, forward Selvaraju Sandrakasi picked up a pass and then flicked a low drive beating New Zealand goalkeeper, Paul Woolford, to seal Malaysia's second goal.
Malaysian coach Sarjit Singh said his boys were more determined and highly motivated to win the match after their opening match loss to Pakistan on Friday.
"We were the better side in the second-half in all departments. After, the second goal, New Zealand mounted attacks but were foiled by our solid defence.
In between, our forwards made counter-attacks that created two or three opportunities but failed to find the net," he said, adding the presence of more than 4,000 local spectators was a morale boost for the team.
Asked on the next match against Argentina tommorow, Sarjit said the match would be a tough one as most of the South Americans were experienced players and plying their professional trade in Holland.
"Hence, we have to play a hard and fast game as I believe my players have a good fitness level now," he told reporters.
In the current team standing, Malaysia, collected three points, and are in the third spot behind Argentina (7 points) and Pakistan (7).
Meanwhile, Argentina and another Olympic-bound team, Pakistan, were tied to a 3-3 draw.
The Argentinian goals were by Pedro Ibarra (31st, penalty corner), Juan Ignacio Gilardi (50th, penalty stroke), and Ignacio Ricardo Bergner (56th, penalty corner). Pakistan by Muhammad Zubair (10th & 44th, field goal & penalty corner), and Waqas Akbar (63rd, field goal).
In another match, India won 3-1 against Canada. India's goals were delivered by Diwakar Ram (44th & 51st, penalty stroke & penalty corner), and Shivenda Singh (53rd, field goal). Canadian Wayne Fernandes gave his team the consolation goal in the 8th minute.
In Monday's matches, Belgium face India (4pm), Canada meet Pakistan (6pm), and malaysia take one Argentina (8pm).