Malaysia book World Cup ticket after tremendous fightback

KUALA LUMPUR: For the first time, Malaysia have qualified for the Indoor Hockey World Cup in Croatia next year.

Malaysia booked their ticket after reaching the Asia Cup final on Friday in

Taldykorgan, Kazakhstan, with a 3-3 draw against Iran.

Malaysia came back from two goals down to hold eight-time champions Iran, and it was enough for them to finish second in Group C and qualify for the final.

The top two teams from the Asia Cup qualify for the World Cup

Malaysia will face Iran again in the final.

After Kazakhstan outplayed Thailand 9-2, Malaysia had needed at least a draw against formidable Iran to qualify for the final.

Iran started well by taking a 2-0 lead with goals from Mahdi Shahrokhi (10th) and Amirmahdi Mirzakhani (16th).

Abdul Khaliq Hamirin narrowed the deficit in the 21st minute, but Iran made it 3-1 with Mahdi on target again in the 27th minute.

Malaysia, however, surprised Iran with two goals within two minutes through Aminuddin Zain (28th) and Abdul Khaliq (30th) to snatch a draw.

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