Sukan

Malaysia and Canada reach Olympic qualifiers following FIH Series Finals victories

Hosts Malaysia and Canada have been allocated places at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification event later this year after reaching the final of the FIH Series Finals in Kuala Lumpur. 

Malayisa defeated Austria 3-1 in a nervy affair at the National Hockey Stadium, with Faizal Saari scoring first for the home side but Leon Thornblom equalising soon after. 

Marhan Jazil and Azlan Hasan then scored late goals to ensure Malaysia’s progress to the final. 

“This game was very tough,” Malaysian captain Razie Rahim said.

“Austria have performed in every game but today we did not miss our opportunities. 

“The boys gave everything today. 

“We didn’t make many mistakes in this game.”

Canada beat Italy 3-1 in the semi-finals of the FIH Series Finals ©Getty Images
Canada beat Italy 3-1 in the semi-finals of the FIH Series Finals ©Getty Images

Canada beat Italy by the same scoreline, but it was the Italian team that scored first through Pietro Lago. 

Sukhi Panesar, Gordon Johnstone and Oliver Scholfield got on the scoresheet to secure Canada’s comeback. 

“We had a lot of possession and took our chances,” Canadian midfielder Adam Froese said.

“It would have been nice to get a couple more but we got the win and are very happy with that.”

Malaysia and Canada will battle it out in the final tomorrow, preceded by a third-place play-off between Italy and Austria. 

 The two finalists will be joined at the Olympic qualifiers by the top placed teams from the other two men’s FIH Series Finals this year, alongside the best four teams from the FIH Pro League. 

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