An extraordinary defensive effort helped Malaysia claim a draw against Belgium, with goalkeeper Shamir Shamsul producing a Player of the Match performance to earn his team what could be a precious point in their quest for a quarter-final berth.
The result sees both teams move onto four points, one point ahead of South Africa going into the final round of pool matches. Belgium were dominant but fell behind on the stroke of half time when Amirul Azahar fired home a penalty corner rebound.
The Europeans had to wait until the fourth quarter before finally restoring parity, with Thibeau Stockbroekx slamming home a brilliant penalty corner effort – the only time they managed to beat the superb Shamsul – to ensure the points were shared.
“Thank you for the award”, said goalkeeper Shamsul on receiving his Player of the Match prize.
“We played well as a team to get the result. We will work hard in the next game [against South Africa].”
Belgium captain Dylan Englebert said:
“We wanted to win this game. It was not an easy game, they defended really well. Their keeper had a good game and they defended hard. We maybe lacked a bit of luck at the end.
We were happy to come back at 1-1, but we wanted to score that last goal but it didn’t come today. Now we have a small amount of time to prepare for our next game [against Chile], so our focus is on that now.”