Egypt lead Pool B charge in Bangladesh after two days of competition
Top ranked Malaysia have made a fine start to the Hockey World League Round 2 event in Dhaka, Bangladesh, winning both of their opening matches to sit at the top of Pool A after two days of competition at the Moulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium.
Malaysia (FIH Hero World Ranking: 13) claimed an opening day victory against hosts Bangladesh (WR: 32), with Marhan Jalil, Razie Rahim and Aiman Nik Rosemi getting the goals in the fixture on Saturday (4 March). That triumph was followed by a comfortable 6-1 win against Oman (WR: 31) on Sunday, where double strikes from Tengku Ahmad and Aiman Nik Rosemi added to earlier goals from Shahril Saabah ans Razie Rahim to leave the Malaysians sitting three points clear of both Oman – winners against Fiji (WR: 34) on Saturday – and Bangladesh, who saw off the Fijians on Sunday.
Egypt (WR: 20) are currently leading the charge in Pool B, with five points from their two matches giving them a one point advantage over China (WR: 18). Egypt and China were both winners on Day 1, with Houssam Ghabran scoring twice for the Africans in a 6-1 victory over Sri Lanka (WR: 41) while a double from E Wenlong helped China to a thrilling 7-3 triumph over Ghana (WR: 38). On Day 2, China and Egypt went head to head and finished with the scores tied at 2-2, although a 3-2 shoot-out success for Egypt gave them what could be a crucial bonus point in the race to finish in first place and set up the best possible quarter-final against the team that finishes last in Pool A. Ghana’s dramatic 5-4 win over Sri Lanka – inspired by a hat-trick of penalty corners from Johnny Botsio – on Sunday leaves the Africans in third place in Pool B, leaving Sri Lanka without a point at the bottom of Pool B.
The finishing positions at the end of the pool phase determines the line-up for the quarter-finals, which begin on Thursday 9th March.
Like all of 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.