Malaysia 2-0 New Zealand- Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2008

The last two meetings between these two sides had both gone in favour of the Black Sticks-a 4-1 win in China in 2006 ( World Cup qualifiers) and a 1-0 loss in Madrid in 2004 ( Olympic qualifiers). And it was for this precise reason that Sarjit Singh and his boys were confident, but a bit jittery nevertheless on the eve of their second game in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup against New Zealand.

However Malaysia put up a good display to beat New Zealand 2-0, and condemn the Black Sticks to their second consecutive loss in the tournament.

And coach Sarjit Singh’s warnings about Kiwi penalty corner specialist Hayden Shaw did not go unheeded as the Malaysians did not allow him a chance to penetrate their goal.

The hosts took the lead through Azlan Misron in the 32nd minute, after a shot from Chua Boon Huat bounced off the keeper into Misron’s path.

The Kiwis returned after the break, and desperately searched for an equaliser that would bring them back into the game. However as it so often happens when you look for a goal, they were hit on the counter, and S. Selvaraju scored to double Malaysia’s lead.

For the coach, those three points would certainly have helped.  His team had given a good account of themselves against Pakistan, considered by many as the best team in the tournament, in the opening game.

And the public at Ipoh were understandably happy at beating an Olympics bound team.

In other Malaysia – New Zealand news, Nicol David beat Shelly Kitchen to reach the semifinals of the British Open squash championship.

Malaysia now have three points from two games, while the Kiwis have three points from as many games.

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