Monday, July 6, 2009

Champs Challenge: Day One results

Group A: Japan 2 (Katsuyoshi Nagasawa, Kenji Kitazato) Poland 3 (Marcin Strykowski, Tomasz Gorny 2)
Both of Ireland’s group A opponents felt their way slowly into the competition, sticking rigidly to a half-court press game which ultimately bore no fruit and little goal-mouth action.

By contrast, the second half developed into a dramatic shoot-out from the moment Marcin Strykowski tapped home two minutes after the interval.

Katsuyoshi Nagasawa’s drag-flick equalised before Tomasz Gorny restored the lead, firing home a zippy move. Kenji Kitizato made it 2-2 with a tap-in but Gorny popped up late on to roof in style to cause a minor surprise based on world rankings.

Group B: Malaysia 3 (Kevinder Singh, Muhammad Amin Rahim 2) Austria 2 (Michael Korper 2)
Malaysia began their tournament in dream fashion as Kevinder Singh sniped through the Austrian defence in just the fourth minute to take a 1-0 lead which they held until the break.

The European side levelled in the 44th minute through Michael Korper's low drag-flick but Muhammad Amin Rahim returned the favour within two minutes to restore Malaysia's advantage before getting the crucial third with a carbon copy strike.

The Austrians narrowed the gap in the 60th minute, Korper nailing the fourth corner strike in quick succession but an equaliser evaded them to give Malaysia the early advantage in the group.

France 5 (Arnaud Becuwe 2, Thomas Gourdin, Nicolas Martin-Brisac, Freddie Soyez) Russia 3 (Alexey Sergeev 2, Alexey Mayorov)
France won out in a goalfest to take their place at the top of group B alongside Malaysia as they got the better of Russia this afternoon. Thomas Gourdin opened the floodgates from close range to open his sides before Nicolas Martin-Brisac made it 2-0 from a botched corner to tap in.

Russia got back into the contest in the 19th minute when Alexey Sergeev dragged home and his side were level early in the second half thanks to Alexey Mayorov.

But parity was short-lived as Soyez dispatched a corner for 3-2 while Arnaud Becuwe appeared to make it safe at 4-2 with another corner-strike. Russia, though, were not done - Mayorov executed a penalty stroke with two minutes to go but Becuwe completed the scoring on the final whistle to end a memorable match 5-3.

Standings (points/goal diff): 1. France 3pts (+2), 2. Malaysia 3pts (+1), 3. Austria 0pts (-1) 4. Russia 0pts (-2)

* For more of Adrian Boehm's pictures from Japan vs Poland, click here


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Anonymous said...

dear Stephen,
Thank you for the write-up on Malaysia. Will up-load on my blog tomorrow crediting you.
Cheers !
Jugjet (Malaysia)