Malaysia, Singapore win Asian women's hockey |
September 12, 2001
|Planet Field Hockey
The Times of India
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KUALA LUMPUR: Defending champions Malaysia edged Thailand 3-1 in a tense match, and Singapore defeated Indonesia 2-1 in the women's hockey at the Southeast Asian Games Tuesday.
The win was Malaysia's second straight, strengthening its front-runner status for the gold medal on Saturday. Thailand, the silver medalist in Brunei two years ago, and Singapore are the other teams in contention.
Singapore's hard-earned win over unfancied Indonesia revived the island republic's hunt for the gold after it lost 5-0 to Thailand on Sunday. The best hope for Indonesia, which got a 9-0 drubbing from Malaysia on Sunday, is bronze.
In a controversial start, Thailand walked off the field minutes after the first whistle after umpire Ravi Irugalbandra of Sri Lanka awarded a penalty stroke to Malaysia after Thailand's goalkeeper Tanunya Klumbracha appeared to have made a clean save.
The Thai players retook the field five minutes later after having talks with match officials.
But Malaysia failed to capitalize on the penalty when striker Che Inan Melati's weak push from the spot was blocked by Tanunya.
The host nation looked more menacing in attack, with Che Inan and skipper Devaleela Devadason troubling the Thai defense with their stickwork and penetrating runs.
Malaysia's first goal came in the 13th minute, when forward Munaziah Mulim tapped the ball home from a penalty corner hit. Two minutes later Norsaliza Soobni finished off a string off passes to put Malaysia 2-0 up.
Thailand, which underwent endurance training in South Korea for the games, fought back and looked dangerous on counter attacks, culminating in a goal by Chantree Yungyuen after a penalty corner.
Malaysia's answered in the 37th minute through Che Inan.
Thailand team manager Tuangrat Sriyong complained of bad umpiring during the match.
"We did no wrong and had a penalty given against us (and) there were also other bad decisions," Tuangrat told The Associated Press.
In the other game, Singapore piled on the pressure from the start, scoring in the fifth minute when striker Niu Lei weaved past three Indonesian defenders to slot home a goal.
Twelve minutes later, the island republic went two up through a controversial goal. In a melee in the Indonesian semi circle, Thailand's umpire Singwara Niyomthai blew for a goal although the ball was still in play.
The hard running Indonesians responded early in the second half, forcing a penalty corner from a quick counter attack. Winger Umi Kalsum's stinging shot sailed past Singapore's goalkeeper Angelia Kar Min to score.
But Indonesia's rally was not enough.
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