Final Four known at men’s Hockey World League Round 2 event in Bangladesh
The semi-finals of the men’s Hockey World League Round 2 event in Dhaka, Bangladesh have been revealed, with Malaysia set to face Egypt and China taking on Oman this coming Saturday (11th March) at the Moulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium.
Top ranked Malaysia (Hero FIH World Ranking: 13) made their way through to the semis with a controlled 5-2 win over Sri Lanka in the first quarter-final on Thursday (9th March). Remarkably, all seven goals scored came within the opening 30 minutes of the contest. Malaysia’s all out attacking strategy paid the dividends as Ramadan Rosli netted a field goal in the 4th minute. However, Sri Lanka were level in the 14th minute as Nalantha Karunamunige dragged the ball inside the post from a penalty corner.
A regrouped Malaysia struck field goals in the 18th, 22nd and 23rd minutes to move into a 4-1 lead and stamp their authority on the contest, with Tengku Ahmad, Rosli Ramadan and Aiman Nik Rosemi all on target.
Sri Lanka threatened a comeback when they netted another penalty corner goal, scored by Ishanka Doranegala in the 27th minute, but Rashid Baharom netted the fifth goal for Malaysia in the 29th minute to re-establish the three-goal cushion and end the match scoring.
Malaysia’s rivals Egypt powered into the semis with a convincing 5-1 win over hosts Bangladesh in their quarter-final. The power and control of the Africans proved too much for the hosts as Egypt took the control, leading 3-1 at the end of the second quarter. Mahmoud Mamdouh, Sayed Amr and Gamal Ahmed found the Bangladesh goal before the half way mark, with Mainul Islam Kowshiq on target for the home favourites. Egypt came out firing all cylinders in the last thirty minutes, scoring another two via the sticks of Sayed Amr and Hassan Mohammed to ensure a last four slot.
Second ranked China faced little resistance against Fiji, claiming a 17-0 victory over the South Pacific islanders. The Chinese onslaught saw 12 goals scored from penalty corners and five field goals. Guo Xiaoping and Du Talake both scored three goals respectively, E Wenlong and E Liguang netted two goals each. Ao Suozhu, E Wenhui, Ao Rang, Wo Wei, Lu Fenghui, Du Chen, Guo Jin scored apiece joining the goal carnival.
Oman had to work hard to get past Ghana 4-3 before earning the last four ticket. Mohammed Al Lawati and Rajab Basim Khatar’s early strikes gave Oman a strong start, while strikes from Khalid Al Shaaibi and Bait Jandal Mohammed saw Oman sitting on a four-goal cushion. Johnny Botsio’s brace and a strike of Godsway Balagi rocked Oman in the dying minutes but failed to change the outcome.
Like all the Round 2 events, the competition in Dhaka features a clash between teams that came through the first phase of the competition against sides that were automatically given a bye through to Round 2 due to their higher placement in the FIH Hero World Rankings. The highest ranked teams will enter the competition at the Semi-Final stage of the Hockey World League.
The top two finishers from the men’s Round 2 events in Dhaka, Belfast (11-19 Mar 2017) and Tacarigua, (25 Mar-2 Apr 2017) are certain to qualify for the Semi-Finals, being joined in the World Cup qualifier phase by the two highest ranked of the third placed finishers from those three events.
To learn more about how the teams progress through the competition in the hope of reaching the 2018 Hockey World Cups, click here, with more details about all of the HWL events available by clicking here.
You can keep track of the tournament in Dhaka on the official competition pages by clicking here and on FIH’s social media channels using the #HWL2017 hashtag.