The stage is set for an exciting semi finals in the AHF Asian Indoor Hockey Tournament In Chonburi , Thailand.
Organised by the Thailand Hockey Association under the astute leadership of Dato Seri Chaiyapak Siriwat, the teams are looking for bragging rights as continental champions.
In the men’s competition, defending champions Iran will take on Uzbekistan while the second semi finals will see Kazakhstan battling it out against Malaysia.
Iran, who are ranked world number 4 are a class above other teams in the competition.
They have won the title 7 tines since the tournament inception in 2008 and look unstoppable yet again.
They have sailed into the semis with relative ease, scoring a total of 37 goals while conceding only 5, winning all their Pool A matches.
Navid Taherirad has accounted for 12 of those goals while Reza Noroyzza has scored 11.
In contrast their opponents Uzbekistan finished second in Pool B having only lost to Kazakhstan.
And in Ruskin Satukov they have a devastating finisher as he is topping the overall goal scoring charts with 14 goals, with 10 from penalty corners and 2 each from field and penalty corner attempts.
The other semis will see a close contest as Kazakhstan hold a slight edge over traditional field hockey power house Malaysia.
Beaten finalists in the last two editions in Taldykorgan ( 2015) and Doha ( 2017), they will be looking at making their third consecutive final,
Malaysia who made the final on five occasions, the last being in Taldykorgan in 2014 may find their opponents a bit too hot to handle.
Malaysia had a tough encounter against hosts Thailand in their last Pool match, winning 2-1 to make the last four and their fitness could well be put under severe test as they play again in less then 24 hours.
The women’s competitions will see Kazakhstan square off against Malaysia while Thailand will play Uzbekistan.
Kazakhstan have won five titles out of six tines the competition has been held with their opponents Malaysia only registering their single title in the inaugural tournament in 2009 in Ipoh.
The Kazakhstan team were devastating in their pool matches registering four wins out of four matches, scoring 31 goals and conceding only 2.
Malaysia finished second in Pool B, with their only defeat at the hands of hosts Thailand 2-1.
As for Thailand, they will be hoping to make their fourth final appearance with their last being ironically also on home soil in Nakhon Ratchasima in 2015.
The two teams look equally matches but the Thai’s will be counting on the extra push from home fans to see them through.
In all, fans are in for a wonderful time in Chonburi .