Australia beat Malaysia 5-3, win bronze in Azlan Shah
Ipoh: World champions Australia scored a hard-fought 5-3 victory over Malaysia to win the bronze in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament.
Mathew Swann (34th), Russel Ford (43rd), Kieran Govers (50th), Christopher Ciriello (54th) and captain Grant Schubert (65th) scored for Australia while Haffihafiz Hanafi (14th), Amin Mohd Rahim (48th) and Tajudin (70th) found the target for the hosts.
In another classification match, Pakistan finished fifth after pipping China 6-5 in the sudden death tie-breaker after being locked 1-1 till extra time.
Malaysia took the lead in 14th minute when striker Haffihafiz Hanafi pushed past Australian goalkeeper George Bazeley after being put through by Faisal Saari.
The Aussies found the equaliser when birthday boy Mathew Swann tapped in via a reverse flick from a goalmouth melee in the 34th minute to go into the breather 1-1.
Australia accelerated the pace in second half mounting raids led by captain Grant Schubert and Mark Paterson. But the Malaysian defence did well in foiling these attempts.
Russel Ford put Australia ahead in the 43rd minute with a superb backhander from the top of the striking circle leaving Malaysian goalkeeper Kumar Subramaniam a mere spectator.
Malaysia came back to get the equaliser when they earned their first penalty corner after winger Tajudin was obstructed and Amin Mohd Rahim flicked home in the 48th minute.
Australia tightened their grip thereafter scoring two goals in quick succession from penalty corners.
Kieran Govers made it 3-2 slamming in from an indirect variation in the 50th minute while Christopher Ciriello increased the tally four minutes later.
Even though Malaysia tried in vain to reduce the margin, Schubert sealed the victory for Australia scoring their fifth goal in the 65th minute, even though the hosts got a last minute consolation from Tajudin.