Australia clinches Azlan Shah Trophy
18 March, 2013
IPOH: Australia beat host Malaysia 3-2 to clinch the Sultan Azlan Shah Trophy in IPOH on Sunday.
The host nation went down 3-2 in a keenly contested final, but there was no shame in defeat as they matched the world number two side blow for blow.
Two hours before the final, the Azlan Shah Stadium was packed to the brim with more than 15,000 fans, while those who could not squeeze in, made themselves comfortable at the big screen set up just outside the Stadium.
The atmosphere was electrical, with marching bands, vuvuzelas and cheering fans celebrating hours before Malaysia entered the pitch to play the World No 2.
For the record, this is only the fourth final which Malaysia is playing in, after 22 Editions and 30 years. The other three were in 1985, 2007 and 2009; and only produced silver medals.
Malaysia lost to India, Australia and India again in the other three finals.
And Faizal Saari did not disappoint his fans, as it was only the fourth minute, and Malaysia won back-to-back penalty corners, when Faizal flicked home the lead and his sixth goal of the tournament.
Malaysia were in control of the match, with Faiz Helmi and Faizal making inroads, while Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin could hardly move due to tight marking.
But Just as the Malaysian players were getting comfortable, Australia won their first penalty corner of the half, and Nicholas Budgeon equalises in the 29th minute, while Craig Boyne makes it 2-1 for the Aussies off a field goal in the 30th minute. Malaysia equalised in the 49th minute as Mohd Marhan Jalil's cross was met at the far post for a simple tap in by Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin.