Asia: Day 02 Updated Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2024


Japan can be said to be the ‘giant killer’ at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh after winning for the second time against a team ranked higher in the world ranking than them.

Japan, which is ranked 16th in the world, managed to defeat the team ranked 10th in the world, New Zealand, who will also play in the Paris Olympics, with a result of 4-1.

The victory was the second surprise done by Yoshihiro Anai’s team in the 30th edition of the tournament, after South Korea, which is ranked 11th in the world, became their first ‘victim’.

In that action, Kimura Naru opened the scoring in the 13th minute for Japan through a field goal.

The Samurai squad managed to double the score in the 23rd minute through a penalty corner shot by Fujishima Raiki.

New Zealand tried to bounce back by creating several chances but failed to break through the Japanese defence.

On the other hand, through a quick Japanese counter-attack, Tsubasa Tanaka managed to break New Zealand’s goal for the third time through a field goal in the 43rd minute.

New Zealand’s quest for the first goal finally succeeded in the 55th minute thanks to Scott Cosslett’s penalty corner but Japan pulled one back through Ken Nagayoshi at the end of the match.

The win saw the Samurai squad pick up full points in the opening two games before tomorrow’s one-day break.

For the record, the last meeting between the two teams ended with a 2-2 result at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.


“The players played with enough discipline and followed all the planned tactics.
We focused on defensive tactics and counter-attacking, that strategy worked and that’s why we won against New Zealand.

New Zealand are a better team than us based on ranking and physicality but the players overcame that on the pitch and credit to them for their excellent performance.”


“I just focus on every instruction of the coach and try to play as well as possible for the team. I started playing with the national team at the age of 15, 18, 21 and now with the senior squad.
Against Pakistan I will try to score two goals.”

First of all, I congratulate Japan on this victory. They took advantage of every chance and we also created chances but didn’t finish them well

They (Japan) played well and became one of the main contenders in this tournament. There are still three more matches to face after this and this tournament is always competitive and presents high-intensity action.

Today Japan really played better than us and also defended very well making it difficult for our attacking machine to score.


A dominant Pakistan continued to reign supreme in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup (SAS Cup) as the men in green shirts registered a 4-0 victory over South Korea in Ipoh today.

Ranked 15th in the world, Pakistan share six equal points with Japan after two matches and top the table standings on a better goal average.

Pakistan’s hockey development programme is widely known to unearth raw talent and one such player is Abdul Hanan Shahid who never stopped mesmerising oppositions. The Koreans became the latest victims to experience the brunt of Hannan and Pakistan.

The 19-year-old Hannan, who received the Emerging Player Award in the Asian Champions Trophy tournament which was held in Chennai, India last year, stroked Pakistan’s opening goal three minutes into the match with a dashing run down the 25-yard line, stormed into the semi-circle with six defenders hot on his heels before flicking the ball to the right of goalkeeper Kim Jaehyeon and into the net.

It was one of the most thrilling showmanship by a skillful player in the two-day-old SAS Cup tournament and deservingly was awarded the man of the match.

The Koreans, who went down 1-2 against Japan in their opening match on Saturday (May 4), earned a total of six penalty corners and failed in all attempts while Pakistan had five and scored one.

Three-time SAS Cup champions Korea’s defensive wall further crumbled as Pakistan continued to pound them with two field goals – Arshad Liaqat (20th min) and Ghazanfar Ali (27th) to go 3-0 ahead at the breather.

The Pakistanis remained in command of the game in the second half with some outstanding attacking performance and converted a penalty corner through Sufyan Khan to end their challenge with a 4-0 victory.


“There is no doubt we played a much better game today than against Malaysia yesterday. It took us only three minutes into the match to score the first goal.

Today the team was in better control of the match. We have also worked on improving on the mistakes made against Malaysia earlier and you can see the team was in a much better position and commanding also.

We also did some analysis before the match against Korea and there was a team effort too in our planning.”


“The goal that I scored was a team effort. I would not have scored if not for the collective support from my teammates. Our mission here is to play good hockey and our game has improved after the match against Malaysia. We will continue to play


“Pakistan is a strong team and we did our best to keep their forwards from scoring. They are very fast, have good speed and very skillful. Our team need more time to develop. We made a lot of mistakes, and need more experience.

Korea also has many new players and we are in the process of developing this team. Our penalty corners are also not working ad we need more time to work on it.”


The Speedy Tigers managed to recover from the disappointment in the first match with a goal feast after scoring a big 6-2 victory over Canada in the second action of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup (PSAS) 2024.

Playing in front of their own supporters, Malaysia were however first surprised by a Canadian field goal scored by Devohn Noronha Teixeira in the 12th minute.

However, Fitri Saari only needed a minute to erase Canada’s goal advantage and Muhammad Azrai Aizad Abu Kamal put Malaysia in front with a field goal in the 14th minute.

Five minutes later, Azimuddin Syakir Kamaruddin who made his second appearance with the senior squad opened his first goal account with the Speedy Tigers.

Nik Muhammad Aiman Nik Rozemi added to Canada’s woes in the 31st minute when he completed Faizal Saari’s pass for the fourth goal for Malaysia, thus echoing the joyous cheers of the fans present at the Azlan Shah Stadium.

When Malaysia launched a series of attacks on the Canadian goal, experienced Canadian player Teixeira managed to find his second personal goal in the 42nd minute through a field goal.

Shocked by the goal, Speedy Tigers quickly responded with two goals within two minutes each through Syed Syafiq Syed Cholan who completed the penalty corner in the 48th minute.

This was followed by the explosion of the national sensational striker, Faizal Saari, who made a quick run before hitting a powerful shot to the left of the goal which was controlled by Zachary Coombs in the 49th minute, for Malaysia’s sixth goal.

The goal also saw Faizal collect 141 goals during his 174 appearances with the Speedy Tigers on the international stage.


Meanwhile, the national hockey head coach, Sarjit Singh described the victory as good for the team’s motivation but there are still many things to improve.

He explained that the defensive line is still problematic because it concedes an easy goal to the opponent.

“We scored in quick succession and we also conceded a goal at the start of the game and came back with two goals after that, and then the third goal.

“At the beginning of the third quarter we got an early goal and Canada scored again, after that we got two goals and won the game.

“I think we still have a lot to improve, especially allowing two easy goals scored by the opponent (Canada).

“The defense line needs to be strengthened and improved, I would like to remind again that this is a young team and it takes time to form harmony between the players.

“Overall I am satisfied with the performance and commitment shown by the players, that is what we want to see in this team,” he said in a press conference after the match.

In the meantime, Patrick Tshutshani took this defeat from a positive point of view and admitted that Malaysia’s fast counter-attacks gave difficulties to his players.

“We started well at the beginning of the match, everything was going well and after that we lost possession and struggled with Malaysia’s quick counter-attack.

“In the third quarter we tried to get up but conceded again. As I said before, we are in the process of forming a team and it is a good experience for the seven new players who are being sent down to play at the international level for the first time,” he said.

by Asia Hockey


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