IPOH: India and Korea were declared joint champions of the 19th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia after the final was abandoned due to bad weather that ruled out play after only six minutes.
Defending champions India earned their fifth Azlan Shah title while Korea bagged their second. The decision to jointly award the trophy was taken after discussion between the Tournament Director Paul Richards and the organising committee, with the consent of His Royal Highness Sultan Azlan Shah.
Australia finish third
Australia defeated Malaysia 5-3 in the third-place playoff. Matthew Swann, Russel Ford, Kieren Govers, Christopher Ciriello and Grant Schubert scored a goal each as Australia took the game away from Malaysia. For Malaysia, Tengku Ahmad, Mohammad Amin Rahim and Hafifihafiz Hanafi scored one goal as well.
Pakistan end up fifth Three-time Azlan Shah champions Pakistan finished fifth in the seven-team competition after they won against China on penalty strokes. Pakistan expected an easy win after they had thrashed China 6-2 in an earlier match. But the match remained 1-1- after extra time and missing from the game were Pakistan’s fast breaks and wizardry as they took time to adjust to the humid conditions, made worse after a downpour earlier.
Rehan feels the agony
Pakistan centre-forward Rehan Butt feels that the team could not blame the umpires for their own weaknesses.“I think the 4-2 loss againstSouth Korea [that endedour final hopes] happened because of inexperience.
The players are immature and even the captain Mohammad Imran is not as seasoned as Zeeshan Ashraf. Many incidents happened during the World Cup in India, but we didn’t argue with the referee because at the end of the day, he would never change his decision and Pakistan’s reputation would be scrutinised by the FIH for this kind of behaviour.”