Korea have qualified for the 2016 Champions Trophy with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Canada in the final of the Pahang Hockey Champions Challenge 1 in Kuantan. The hosts Malaysia defeated Ireland 4-2 to grab Bronze medal.
Both the finalists had good results, as Korea grabbed their first Champions Challenge 1 title in their fourth appearance and Canada finishing second, their best result was a 6th place finish in Quilmes, Argentina, in 2012.
The Koreans scored the 2 goals in each half to win the final by 4-0, with the help of a brace from JANG Jong Hyun (10th minute PC and 56th minute PS goals), and field goals from KIM Young Jin and KIM Seong Kyu in 13th and 69th minute respectively.
In bronze medal match: Ireland conceded a penalty stroke in the 7th minute to give Malaysia the first score of the match thanks to Ahmad Nasrudden but Ireland immediately went goal hunting but to no avail. Malaysia doubled their lead in 11th minute on the counter this time Muhammad Baharom getting on the scoresheet.
Ireland pressed hard securing the first penalty corner of the match in the 13th minute but Stephen Dowds drag flick was well saved. Six minutes later Malaysia lined up for their first penalty corner but with Goal Keeper of the tournament David Harte on form he kept the chance out. Ireland pulled one back in the 22nd minute when Paul Gleghorne deflected in from open play to make it 2-1. From here Ireland pushed hard to equalise before half time but despite strong attacking play Malaysia held the narrow lead as the teams took their half time break.
Ireland’s skill finally paid dividends in the 43nd minute Chris Cargo this time netting for his side to make it 2-2. The game ensued in a fast paced end to end manner but it was the home side that netted a further two in the dying minutes of the game to secure a 4-2 victory and third place in this tournament.
Commenting after the match Irish Coach Ned Fulton said “I am happy about the positive way we played tonight, creating enough chances in the 70 minutes to get a result. It was 2-2 with five minutes to go and was anyone’s game. I am proud of the team and the improvements they have made against the tough opposition throughout this tournament.”
The Black Sticks Men have overcome France 6-3 to finish at 5th place. It was a controlled effort from the Kiwis, who once again kept on top of their opposition from start to finish. Simon Child celebrated his 200th test with a strong performance and added to his impressive goal tally at the tournament.
The Black Sticks led 3-1 at halftime with goals from Child, Stephen Jenness and Phil Burrows and continued their momentum after the break. Alex Shaw and Jared Panchia both added to the score before France scored two quick goals inside the final 15 minutes.
The Black Sticks were swift to respond though and bolstered their defence before Hugo Inglis sealed the game with a field goal in the final minute. The Black Sticks Head coach Colin Batch said it was a positive way to finish the tournament for his side.
“We had a lot of possession early and defended strongly for most of the game. After going up 5-1 we let in two goals which was a bit disappointing but scored again right at the death. Overall it was a solid performance for us and a good part of our preparation towards the World Cup. We won five out of six games at the tournament so we feel our final placing is not a true reflection of our overall performance,” he said.
Japan defeated Poland 3-2 to avoid wooden spoon in the tournament.