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Malaysia bounce back to level Pakistan (12/5/2018)
--s2h Team
In sync with the emerging trend, the first three quarters of the game between the Asian giants did not provide any dynamics to the scoreboard. It was not due to cautious approach the teams but mostly due to the inability of Malaysia to make use of its hard earned penalty corners in the first half.

Both teams parted for the break with honours even.

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After a barren third quarter, captain Irfan Sr set up Atiq for the game changer of a moment. His hard hit from deep midfield was stopped by Atiq in the centre of circle only to see it bounce to a covering defender. Atiq used all his experience and wisdom to turn half, trap the ball to bring it for his forehand, and then quite calmly pushed the ball hard into the cage between the left post and to the right of well-stationed goalie Kumar Subramaniam. The mere fact that Atiq did not waste split seconds to backlift the stick stunned the Asia's best goalie.

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The goal that electrified the crowd also spurred the Malaysians. They got their last of six penalty corners of which Faizal Saari, who was later declared Man of the Match for a Rs.50,000 purse, flicked high in to the left top corner.

Malaysia has equalized within 3 minutes. Try hard as they, goals did not come for either team thereafter though there excitements were a galore. The height of which was aggrieved Umar Bhutta claiming through referral for a stick obstruction when it seemed almost the final whistle was blown. There were a few tense seconds that kept the result in suspense. However, his claim did not stand neutral umpire's scrutiny.

The draw favours Pakistan who have better goal aggregate and difference than Malaysia's, to finish second or third in the pool.

Malaysia will play Netherlands while Pakistan will take on Netherlands in their last pool match later this week. Germany is leading the pool, followed by Netherlands.

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