USMNT Falls in Tight Contest to Malaysia at FIH Hockey5s World Cup
MUSCAT, Oman – The U.S. Men’s National Team met Malaysia in their second pool game of the FIH Hockey5s World Cup in Muscat, Oman. In a tight contest, with a lot of action, the Wolves fell 2-3.
The opening minutes saw both sides share looks but each were defended well in the attacking zone. USA had a close chance in 6th minute when it went from Pat Harris (Moorpark, Calif.) on the right who transferred it to Ajai Dhadwal (Agoura Hills, Calif.) on the left and then down to Gerald Cutone (Middleton, Mass.) in the corner. He turned along the end boards and was met by Malaysia goalkeeper Shahrul Saupi and Harris followed up with a blast that went just wide. Two minutes later, Malaysia picked off a deep USA turnover and was awarded a challenge on the hard tackle foul. Kamarulzaman Kamaruddin stepped up to take it, but USA goalkeeper Hamzah Hashmi (Granada Hills, Calif.) made the stop. The official initially called a penalty stroke but after referring with the other official the call was overturned. Malaysia took the lead in the 11th minute when Akhimullah Anuar tallied. The Wolves continued to push and with 1.5 minutes to go Sekayi Charasika (Louisville, Ky.) saw his rebound shot saved off the line by Saupi.
USA equalized 2 minutes into the second half on a great individual run by Harris. Malaysia regained the lead in the 21st minute when Syarman Mat got the final touch off the far post to make it 1-2. The remaining minutes were action packed that saw a USA challenge go to no avail and Michael Barminski (Ventura, Calif.) make two saves in the goal frame. Malaysia extended their lead in the 25th minute when Anuar scored a low angle backhand. USA kept pushing and Harris brought down a bouncing ball and fired it into the back of the goal. The Wolves ran out of time to even the match as they fell 2-3.
The Wolves return to the pitch tomorrow, January 28 at 3:10 a.m. ET to face hosts, Oman, in their final pool play game.
For more information regarding the FIH Hockey5s World Cup, visit the event page.
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