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Malaysia draws with Spain

Anand Philar | January 08, 2004 21:04 IST

A last minute strike by Kuhan Shanmuganathan helped Malaysia come from behind and force a 3-3 draw with Spain in the 13th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup men's hockey tournament at Kuala Lumpur.

The Malaysians were lucky to survive as they trailed 2-3 with a minute left on the board.

At this juncture, they forced two penalty corners, the second of which was converted by Shanmuganathan. In the process, the full-back achieved a hat-trick, having scored the previous two Malaysian goals.

The Spaniards, with a bunch of veterans in the line-up, including those who had carried the side to the finals of the 1996 Olympics and the 1998 World Cup, played well within themselves to contain Malaysia who enjoyed support from the terraces.

Pol Amat, the wily winger, put Spain in the front with a second minute goal after being put through by a long ball from Jaime Perez.

Malaysia drew abreast past the ninth minute with a Shanmuganathan corner.

But Spain regained the initiative with a 17th minute penalty corner goal by Santiago Freixa to take the breather with a 2-1 advantage.

On resumption, the hosts played an inspired game and tied the score when Shanmuganathan converted yet another corner.

Howevever, Spain hit back with a conversion from Freixa in the 44th minute.

They then kept the Malaysians in their own half before giving way in the last minute when they conceded the equaliser.

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