22/05/2024 06:26 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 (Bernama) -- Defensive stalwart Muhammad Najmi Farizal Jazlan scored two goals in one minute to help the national team fight back for a 3-3 draw against hosts Kazakhstan in their second Group B match of the 2024 Men’s Indoor Hockey Asia Cup in Taldykorgan today.

Just when it seemed like the home team were set for victory, Muhammad Najmi turned hero for defending champions Malaysia by scoring two penalty corner goals in the 38th and 39th minute for a share of the spoils.

Malaysia had earlier found themselves trailing after just two minutes when Tashkeyev Yermek netted a field goal before forward Faridzul Afiq Mohd equalised with a penalty corner goal in the 15th minute.

Kazakhstan then made it 2-1 when Tashkeyev sounded the board for his second goal just two minutes later off a penalty corner setpiece before Duisengazy Agymtay stretched their lead to 3-1 courtesy of a field goal in the 34th minute.

However, Kazakhstan's hopes of a second win after trouncing Indonesia 6-2 yesterday were thwarted, thanks to Muhammad Najmi's two-goal blitz.

National men's indoor hockey team head coach Mohd Rodzhanizam Mat Radzi heaved a huge sigh of relief after watching his team avoid defeat against Kazakhstan and hopes that his men will use the short break to regroup and be revitalised for their third and final group match against 2023 SEA Games gold medallists Indonesia later tonight.

"Tonight, we will be gunning for a win over Indonesia and we will not take them lightly,” he said in a statement issued by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC).

Malaysia began their campaign in style when they hammered Oman 10-2 yesterday.

In the second round, the top two teams of each group will be placed in Group C while the remaining teams will be placed in Group D.

The top two teams in Group C will not only qualify for the final but will also automatically qualify for the 2025 World Cup.

Malaysia created history at the 2022 edition in Bangkok, Thailand when they won the inaugural Asia Cup by defeating eight-time champions Iran 3-2 in a penalty shootout after both teams were tied 4-4 in regulation time.






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