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FHockey: Hosts Malaysia hold Australia to 1-1 draw


Hockey World Champions Australia were held to a 1-1 draw by 13th-ranked Malaysia Tuesday with both teams now eyeing a place in Sunday's final in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

Australia tops the standings with Malaysia second, both on seven points after three matches with two to play. The other teams lag behind on three points after winning only one game.

Both went into Tuesday's match undefeated but it was the Australians who had the better of their exchanges, taking the lead with a goal from Trent Mitton after a quick counter attack.

But Australia squandered nine penalty corner chances and several other attempts. And Malaysia's Faizal Saari made them pay with a drag flick into the net from a penalty corner.

Desperate defending and quality goalkeeping from Malaysia brought the match to the final 1-1 scoreline.

Earlier, India overcame arch-rivals Pakistan 3-1 to chalk up their first win of the tournament.

A dominant Pakistan took the lead when Muhammad Waqas scored from a penalty corner rebound. But India, setting up their attacks from the flanks, scored two goals through Rupinder Pal Singh and Akashdeep Singh in a four-minute spell.

Pakistan slowly re-took command of the match, but in the second half India increased the lead through Mandeep Singh through another penalty corner rebound.

Pakistan chief coach Akhtar Rasool, who changed the goalkeeper to Imran Shah from Imran Butt, said the team wouldn't win matches if they missed sitters and penalty corners.

"I am happy to see the players performing well. But this is all about scoring, and despite dominating the match we ended up losers," he said.

Meanwhile, New Zealand finally secured a win, defeating South Korea 3-0. The defending champions rank third in the table.

They took the lead in the fourth minute with a goal from lurking Hugo Inglis. Cory Bennett then converted their first penalty corner, while Andy Hayward did the same later in the game.

All teams still have two games to play, with three points for a win, before Sunday's final. Australia will meet South Korea on Thursday and New Zealand on Saturday, while Malaysia will face Pakistan and then India.