Aussies play at half pace yet beat Malaysia
1986 champions Australia stepped on the pedal in the second half to get the better of hosts Malaysia 3-0 in front of a vociferous capacity crowd at the National stadium, in the last match of the opening day's programme in the 10th men's World Cup on Sunday.
The Aussies, attired in sleeveless vests to beat the Kuala Lumpur heat, played at a relaxed pace in the opening half but went on the offensive in the second to emerge convincing winners.
After holding out for 40 minutes, Malaysia finally wilted under constant pressure.
Michael McCann opened Australia's account with a field goal in the 41st minute before seasoned campaigner Troy Elder scored twice - the first from a penalty-corner and the second from field play.
After the match, Australia coach Barry Dancer said he told his team to persist during the break, and eventually this paid off.
"I had expected a really tough match as I have seen some creativity in the Malaysian midfield. It was important for us to deny that midfield any space to work with," he said.
Malaysia's German coach Paul Lissek said: "The result could have been better, but we must have more confidence on the ball."
Australia next play traditional rivals England on February 26 while Malaysia take on the Japanese.
More reports from the World Cup
Lacklustre India held by Japan
D'Souza promises better showing in next matches
Pakistan too good for South Africa
Korea and England win opening World Cup ties
Mail Sports Editor