Malaysia displayed strong mental ability and patience to make the final at the expense of Austria, winning the semi-final clash 3-1.
They will now take on Canada in the final while Austria will play Italy in the 3/4 placing match.
As expected, Austria opted to play a rather defensive game and that was not helped by a solid Malaysian defense that did not concede a single penalty corner in the match.
“ We took our chances well and played our hearts out in the match to make the final,” said Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin.
“ We managed to contain them and frustrate their attacking pattern.”
Malaysia went into the offensive from the first whistle and Austria was not at all interested to throw men forward.
With acres of space available, Malaysia opted for a slow buildup, cutting down on turnovers.
From their first penalty corner, Malaysia took the lead in the 11th minute through Faisal Saari.
Austria pulled level through a deft deflection by Leon Thornblom in the 32nd minute that caught Malaysian keeper Hairi Rahman.
A minute later Thornblom was yellow carded and he was soon joined by Akhirmullah Anuar two minutes later.
Both teams increased the tempo in the final few minutes of the third quarter but could not add to their scoreline.
It was not till the 56th minute that Malaysia won another penalty corner and Razie Rahim’s attempt fell to Tengku Ahmad Tajudfin Tg Jalil whose shot came off the keeper and fell for Marhan Jalil who lifted it into the goal for Malaysia to lead 2-1.
Meor Azuan Hasan put the icing on the cake with a brilliant individual effort in the 58th minute to make the final score 3-1.
“ We were good defensively as the forwards and midfielders played their role by cutting off the balls from their half,” said skipper Shukri Mutalib.
“ Canada will be a tough proposition as they are strengthened by some players who did not feature at the recent Azlan Shah Cup.
“ We have achieved our first target of making the Olympic Qualifiers, now we are a match away from emerging as the top team here.”