The Darwin International Hockey Open was conducted between 18th and the 22nd of September In Darwin, Australia. The tournament was a 4-way fight between World Numbers 1 and 2, Australia and Argentina with the finalists of the Asian Games 2018, Japan and Malaysia.
The tournament provided for the hockey fan a series of matches with scintillating and high-quality hockey. Teams Japan and Malaysia, fresh out of their Asian Games performances seemed highly motivated to take on the best sides in the world.
Japan faced Argentina in their opening match, where they made the South American side toll extremely hard to earn their victory by 2 goals to 1 over them. In their second match, they faced their 6-all Asian Games final rival Malaysia. The intensity of the match was fantastic, as Malaysia seemed comfortable yet again to win the match, only to face the resistance and fight back from Samurai Japan who denied the Malaysians a win in the dying moments of the game; the game finished at 3-3. In their 3rd match, Japan faced the hosts Australia. Japan must have taken valuable lessons away from the game as their matches against top oppositions have been on a steep rise in recent past.
Malaysia on the other side also was stellar in their performances. With an early jitter against Australia in the opening match, they came back stronger in their second match against their Asian rival Japan and lost by an extremely small margin to Argentina. Malaysia, in their match for 3rd place, played clinical hockey to win the match.
Performances put up by both Malaysia and Japan are steps in the right directions for the Asian giants. The Darwin Cup proved to be an excellent platform and would have given a good build-up for Malaysia’s preparation for the World Cup.