Korea and Malaysia are closer to a place in the semifinals of the Men’s Asia Cup. On day three of the event in Kuantan, Malaysia, Korea defeated Japan 3-2, while host Malaysia was too strong for Bangladesh (7-1).
Korea did what it had to do against Japan: winning the match to stay in good shape for a place in the semifinals. Although the Korean victory was never in danger, Japan came very close.
In the best match so far at the Asia Cup, Korea opened the score in the 12th minute. Japan equaled the match less than ten minutes after the opening goal, but the 1-1 only stayed on the scoreboard for one more minute. Korea took the 2-1 lead in the 23rd minute and never gave the lead away anymore in the second half, in which both teams scored once.
In other Monday action, Malaysia had no difficulties to take home the three points against Bangladesh. It took only five minutes before the host scored the first goal.
Korea and Malaysia are the co-leaders in Pool A. Malaysia only needs a draw against Japan in Tuesday to proceed to the semifinals, while Korea has to do the same against Bangladesh to reach the last four.
In Pool B, Pakistan is sure of a place in the semifinals. India and China will decide which team will join Pakistan in the Final Four.
The winner of the Asia Cup will qualify directly for the 2010 FIH World Cup.
Results Men’s Asia Cup 12 May 2009:
Japan – Korea 2-3 (1-3)
Bangladesh – Malaysia 1-7 (1-4)
Ranking: 1. Malaysia 2-4 (8-2), 2. Korea 2-4 (4-3), 3. Japan 2-3 (7-3), 4. Bangladesh 2-0 (1-12).
Please click here for a full overview of the Asia Cup results.