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Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Cup: England men set for Malaysia clash

By Rod Gilmour

England v Malaysia: BBC Sport and red button 12.35 GMT

England men’s hopes of reaching the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup final rely on them beating hosts Malaysia on Friday and hoping other results fall their way.

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Bobby Crutchley’s side kept their trophy aspirations alive with a well-fought draw in their penultimate match against Argentina, the Olympic champions and world No 2 side, when David Condon levelled four minutes from time.

The result meant that England – who won this tournament as a Great Britain side last year – lie fourth in the table on five points with one game left to play. However Malaysia will be spurred on by a vociferous Ipoh crowd and sky-high confidence after beating Argentina 2-1, their first win over the South American side for 17 years.

Australia have been the clear in-form team in the humidity as they look for a 10th Azlan Shah trophy. The Kookaburras play Argentina, who would need a win to make sure of the same sides contesting Saturday’s final.

England have so far beaten Ireland 4-1, drawn 1-1 with Argentina and India and lost to world No 1 outfit Australia.

“We do need to improve our ability to turn circle entries into goal scoring opportunities,” said Crutchley after the recent Argentina draw. “This area we will look to improve in Friday’s game against Malaysia.”

Current standings:

1 Australia played 4 points 12
2 Argentina 4 7
3 Malaysia 4 6
4 England 4 5
5 India 4 4
6 Ireland 4 0

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