Canada edged Malaysia 3-2 to win the FIH Series Final in Kuala Lumpur.
It was a heartbreaking defeat for the Malaysians who had their King present at the National Stadium.
In the end it was two missed penalty strikes by the Saari brothers that caused the defeat,
It was a change of goalkeepers that Canada made that actually turned out to be their axe in the pack,
Canada opted for reserve keeper Antoni Kindler instead of David Carter and Kindler turned out an inspiring performance, denting Malaysia time and again.
“ It is just unbelievable that we lost the game. We created enough chances to win the match but did not,” said Malaysian coach Roelant Oltmans.
“ Missing two penalty strikes in one match is just unheard of and hopefully this will never happen again.
“ We now have around six months to prepare for the Olympic playoffs and I aim to use this period to correct the mistakes we are making.
“ We are sorry for the fans who supported us throughout the tournament.”
Malaysia took the lead in the 8th minute when Meor Azuan Hassan sent a defence splitting pass to Firhan Ashari whose slap hit sailed past Canada keeper Antoni Kindler.
And in the 14th minute Malaysia were defied a second goal as Razie Rahim’s penalty corner attempt came off the upright.
Canada capitalised in two penalty corners to take the lead.
In the 20th minute Scott Tupper send a Low drag flick that sneaked past Hairi Rahman and postman Najmi Farizal Jazkan.
Brenden Bissett deflected in a second penalty corner in the 22nd minute to make it 2-1 in favour of Canada.
Fitri Saari had an opportunity to equalise but sent his penalty stroke wide in the 28th minute.
Malaysia put the pressure on the Canadian defence but failed to make their chances count.
And then Canada struck out of nothing.
A pass from the middle saw James Kirkpatrick running away from the Malaysian goal had a deflection that caught Hairi flat footed to make it 3-1.
Malaysia were awarded another penalty strike when Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tg Jalil was fouled in the 51st minute.
This time Faisal Saari was denied by a brilliant save by Kindler.
But Malaysia managed to reduce the deficit through Tengku Ahmad as he managed to get to the ball first to make it 3-2 in the 53rd minute.
And Canada held on to their dear lives to record a memorable win.
In the match to decide 3/4th placing, Italy edged Austria 2-1 to emerge third.
Italy were winners courtesy of goals by Francois Sior ( 47th minute) and Thomas Keenan ( 49th minute) .
Austria’s goal was scored by Patrick Schmidt in the 47th minute.
“ We are very happy to finish third when we are actually the lowest ranked team and we’re supposed to finish last,” said Francois Sior who was voted the man of the match and scored the first goal for Italy.
“ Many say it was a nice goal but really it was a team effort and I am happy to score the goal to help my team.”