Johannesburg - The South Africa men’s hockey team lost 6-4 to Malaysia in their World League semi-final Pool B match at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor, Malaysia on Sunday.
Faizal Saari opened the scoring from a fourth-minute penalty corner, which was followed with another goal in the 15th minute when Razie Rahim’s drag flick took the score to 2-0.
SA came back, winning penalty corners, and in the 26th minute Jethro Eustice pulled one back for a half-time score of 2-1 to Malaysia.
Two minutes after the changeover the score was 2-2 when Wade Paton smashed the ball into the backboard.
But Razie’s 46th-minute drag flick made it 3-2 to Malaysia and in the 54th minute Fitri Saari set free his brother Faizal Saari for a backhand smash that flew past South African goalkeeper Rassie Pieterse to give Malaysia a 4-2 lead.
Two minutes after the re-start SA striker Miguel da Graca found space to pull the score back to 4-3 in Malaysia’s favour.
Fitri Saari took the score to 5-3 in the 58th minute when he produced a reverse-stick shot to match his brother’s goal.
Razie’s poorly taken penalty stroke in the 61st minute was easily saved by Erasmus but Mohd Marhan Jalil gave Malaysia a three-goal cushion when he made use of a loose ball in the strike zone.
Trailing 6-3 with seven minutes left, SA reduced the deficit when Tim Drummond’s neat finish made the final score 6-4 to the home nation.
SA meet Pakistan in their final Pool B match on Tuesday.