From Ahmad Muliady Abdul Majid
KUANTAN, April 26 (Bernama) -- Host Malaysia were dealt a severe blow to their aspiration of winning the Champions Challenge 1 after losing 2-3 to France at the Indera Mahkota Hockey Stadium, here Saturday night.
France who started as the underdogs, kicked off the match on an aggressive note and deservedly took the lead through Olivier Sanchez's field goal in the 34th minute but Malaysia levelled the score through Tengku Ahmad Tajudin Abdul Jalil in the 44th minute.
Malaysia started the second half with renewed vigor and took the lead through Faizal Saari's 50th minute goal but the joy was short-lived as France fought back to equalise three minutes later through Victor Charlet's penalty corner strike.
With the score level at 2-2, both sides were looking cautious in their approach but the French were awarded a penalty stroke in the 64th minute and Hugo Genestet made no mistake with his flick to put his team ahead and clinch all three points.
Meanwhile, Malaysian coach Muhammad Dharma Raj Abdullah said despite the loss, he was satisfied with the determination of his players.....