Great Britain 4
Ward (33′, FG), Roper (36′, FG), Forsyth (42′ FG), Gall (47′, FG)
Noor (6′, PC)
Four goals in the space of 14 second-half minutes put Great Britain’s men in a good position after the first of their two-legged FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers.
Malaysia were 1-0 up at half time after an impressive 30 minutes from the visitors, but Britain turned on the style in the second half with some brilliant goals. It was hard to pick out which was the most impressive goal, but Phil Roper’s rocket-like finish was absolutely unstoppable while Sam Ward, Alan Forsyth and James Gall all profited from excellent team moves.
Britain were put under pressure in the final stages and Malaysia will be very disappointed at a missed chance to make it 4-2. So it is very much still all to play for come Sunday’s second leg at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.
Phil Roper said, “We’re feeling pretty good. We knew that the Malaysians were going to come out and pose a real threat to us. We know they start hard, but we backed our game plan, especially in the second half, and it was great to score those four goals. It’s such a huge occasion so we knew that there would be a few nerves flying around in the first half, but once we settled down we knew our ball control and intensity would win us that game, and thankfully it did.”
Great Britain: Pinner (GK), Waller, Sanford, Dixon (c), Ames, Sloan, Gall, Martin, Roper, Forsyth, Ward
Subs: Willars, Weir, Sorsby, Calnan, Wallace, Draper
Unused sub: Gibson (GK)