Malaysia clinched their first ever win over Pakistan in the history of the Asia Cup as they defeated the former champion 3-2 in a thrilling encounter in the opening match of the Super Four round at Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium in Dhaka Wednesday.
Former winner India and reigning champion South Korea played out a 1-1 draw in the second game of Super Four at the same venue while Japan ensured their place among the top six teams after beating Oman 5-3 in the first match of the 5th-8th place classification round.
It was Muhammad Umar Bhutta who scored the first goal of the day as he gave Pakistan the lead with only a minute into the clock before Rahim Razie canceled the lead in the 10th minute from Malaysia's first penalty corner. Muhammad Yaqoob put Pakistan ahead again four minutes into the second quarter before Malaysia brought parity in the 25th minute through Saabah Shahril, who connected an opportunistic finish in front of the post.
Malaysia produced a strong third quarter as they made 11 circle entries into the opposition territory, which helped them to wrest away the momentum. Fitri Saari slammed the winner from another penalty corner just four minutes into the third quarter.
Meanwhile, the top two favourites of the tournament, India and South Korea, played out a cautious affair. It took the game 41 minutes to open the scoring when South Korea went ahead through Lee Jungjun. India used all available options for the equaliser and finally, Gurjant Singh made it all square in the last minute of the game.
(Razie 10, Shahril 25, Saari 34) 2 Pakistan
(Bhutta 1, Yaqoob 19)
(Gurjant 60) 1 South Korea
Japan 5 3 Oman