Saturday, February 24, 2024

Olympic hockey qualifiers: Great Britain men run through gears to down Malaysia

Great Britain men continued momentum in Muscat on Tuesday night with a 4-1 win over Malaysia on Tueday night. Sam Ward’s brace left him one shy of 50 international goals as Zach Wallace and another fine goal by Will Calnan also got in on the act.

GB are now in prime position for a semi-final berth ahead of their final group game against China on Thursday, by virtue of holding a better goal difference.

Nick Bandurak had GB’s first chance with a thrusting flick saved by Hafizuddin Othman. It was the first of many chances. Throughout the first half, GB held fort in Malaysian territory.

Possession paid off. Calnan scored his second in as many days with a rebound from Sam Ward’s shot. The H&W forward struck with a well-timed forehand.

Saabah equalised after Malaysia’s fourth successive corner following Nick Park’s green card. Heading into the break both sides had five PCs apiece.

GB made inroads with their sixth straight after the break when Ward went straight down the barrel to beat Othman, who then saved point blank from Rupert Shipperley.

A key quarter developed when Wallace flicked from the baseline and went in off Othman.

Wallace then combined with Ward, who shot on the turn to take his tally to 49 goals in his 99th game.

In the other pool, Germany and New Zealand are level on four points and Chile on three – all three still able to qualify.

Chile take on Germany in their last pool game while New Zealand take on unfancied Canada.

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