As the Men’s Hckey5s Asia Cup 2023 entered its third day, the excitement in Salalah, Oman, continued to build. This prestigious event not only marks the inaugural Hockey5s championship at the Asian level but also serves as the gateway to the FIH Hockey5s World Cup 2024. While Oman, as the host, has already secured a place in the World Cup, three other teams are vying for qualification. Day 3 witnessed a series of captivating matches that left fans on the edge of their seats.
Indonesia vs. Hong Kong China – White Dominance
The opening match of the day featured Indonesia taking on Hong Kong China, who were positioned third and fourth in the standings, respectively. Indonesia’s white team delivered an impressive performance, outscoring Hong Kong China 12-5. The heroics of FATHUR Mochamad (x5), PRILIANDRO Revo, PRASTYO Alfandy (x3), ATWO Frank (x2), and PRAWESTI Candra secured Indonesia’s victory. Hong Kong China’s goals were netted by IU Felix Chi Him (x2), ABDUL Aziz, YU Chi Wai, and TSANG Martin. PRASTYO Alfandy (Shirt 15) was awarded the Player of the Match.
Iran vs. Afghanistan – Red Dominance Continues
In the second match of the day, Iran continued their impressive run by defeating Afghanistan 12-2. Iran maintained their perfect record, securing their fourth consecutive win, while Afghanistan suffered their third defeat. The red team showcased their dominance, netting twelve goals while limiting Afghanistan to only two. RAHCHAMANI Zabihollah (Shirt 18) was named the Player of the Match, recognizing Iran’s unwavering performance.
Japan vs. Bangladesh – Bangladesh’s Commanding Win
In the first Elite Pool match of the day, Japan faced Bangladesh, both positioned at the bottom of the standings. Japan secured the first goal, but Bangladesh swiftly responded, dominating the match with a final score of 10-3. MOHAMMAD Uddin (Shirt 11) stood out, earning the Player of the Match award for Bangladesh. SAROWAR Sawon (x2), EMON Md. Deen (x3), ALAM Saiful (x3), and MOHAMMAD Uddin (x2) contributed to Bangladesh’s victory. KOBORI Masataka scored all three goals for Japan.
Malaysia vs. India – India’s Thrilling Victory
In a highly anticipated match with implications for the Elite Pool standings, Malaysia and India clashed. Both teams needed a win to secure a top spot, but it was India who emerged victorious in a thrilling encounter. India rallied from behind to win 7-5, thanks to SINGH Gurjot’s impressive five goals. SINGH Maninder and RAHEEL Mohammed also made significant contributions to India’s triumph. For Malaysia, ISHAK Arif, ABU Ismail, DIN Muhamad, KAMARUDDIN Kamarulzaman, and MAT Syarman scored. SINGH Jugraj (Shirt 31) was awarded the Player of the Match.
Oman vs. Pakistan – Pakistan’s Dominance Continues
In the first match of the day for the tournament host, Oman faced a formidable Pakistan team. Pakistan, having won all their previous matches, continued their dominance by defeating Oman 9-4. ABDULLAH Muhammad, RANA Abdul (x5), LIAQAT Arshad (x2), and HAYAT Zikriya contributed to Pakistan’s victory. For Oman, AL LAWATI Fahad, AL SHAAIBI Khalid, BAIT Usama, and MADIT Aiman scored. ABDULLAH Muhammad (Shirt 02) was named the Player of the Match.
Hong Kong China vs. Kazakhstan – Kazakhstan’s Strong Showing
In a crucial match for the Challenger Pool standings, Hong Kong China faced Kazakhstan. This was Hong Kong China’s second match of the day, while Kazakhstan played their first. Kazakhstan secured the win, prevailing 11-4, and maintaining their second-place position in the pool. TASHKEYEV Yermek (Shirt 10) was awarded the Player of the Match for Kazakhstan, who scored eleven goals compared to Hong Kong China’s four. This result meant Hong Kong China would play for 9th-11th place, while Kazakhstan would compete in Crossover 1.2.
Afghanistan vs. Indonesia – Indonesia’s Convincing Victory
Both Afghanistan and Indonesia had already played a match earlier in the day, with Indonesia securing a win against Hong Kong China. In their second encounter, Indonesia defeated Afghanistan 14-2. Indonesia’s strong performance placed them third in the Challenger Pool, while Afghanistan remained in fifth place. Indonesia’s dominant display resulted in a fourteen-goal victory against Afghanistan’s two.
India vs. Japan – India’s Dominance
In the final match of the Elite Pool, India faced Japan, who had previously competed against Malaysia and Bangladesh. India displayed their dominance, winning the match with a resounding scoreline of 35-1. SINGH Maninder (Shirt 39) was named the Player of the Match for his outstanding performance. This victory secured India’s place in the semifinals, while Japan prepared for the Crossover 1.1 match against Iran.
Pakistan vs. Malaysia – Electrifying Draw
Pakistan, fresh from their victory over Oman, faced Malaysia in a highly electrifying match. The two teams battled fiercely, resulting in a 5-5 draw. While goals were abundant, both teams exhibited tremendous determination and resilience. DIN Muhamad (Shirt 08) received the Player of the Match award for his contributions. Pakistan topped the Elite Pool and advanced directly to the semifinal, while Malaysia prepared for Crossover 2.2.
Oman vs. Bangladesh – Bangladesh’s Narrow Victory
In the final match of the day, tournament host Oman faced Bangladesh. In a closely contested battle, Bangladesh secured a narrow 7-6 victory over Oman. ALAM Saiful (Shirt 27) was named the Player of the Match. This victory placed Bangladesh fourth in the standings, while Oman remained in fifth place. As a result, Bangladesh prepared for Crossover 2.1, while Oman geared up for Crossover 1.2.
Day 3 of the Men’s Hockey5s Asia Cup 2023 delivered an array of exhilarating matches, showcasing the determination and skill of the participating teams. As the tournament progresses, the competition becomes fiercer, and the quest for World Cup qualification intensifies. With each match, new leaders emerge, and the path to glory becomes clearer. Stay tuned for more thrilling action from Salalah, Oman, as the battle for supremacy and World Cup qualification continues.