KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia hammered Japan 5-1 today to romp into the semi-finals of the Nations Cup at Potchefstroom, South Africa.
Coach Arul Selvaraj's men will now have to wait for the late encounter between South Africa and Ireland in Group A to know their last four opponents.
South Korea topped Group B when they hammered Canada 6-2 for a flawless group stage campaign.
Najib Abu Hassan started the rout in the second minute, and the only hiccup was when Kosei Kawabe drew level for Japan in the fifth minute.
But Malaysia were all over Japan after that as Aminuddin Zain (23rd), Faizal Saari (34th), Najib (39th) and Ashran Hamsani (40th) slammed in the goals.
Malaysia scored four field, and one penalty corner goals from Aminuddin while Japan had seven penalty corners but failed to score any. Kawabe's was a field attempt.
Azlan Shah Cup champions Malaysia had set an initial semi-final target for the inaugural Nations Cup, and reached it with only one blemish — a 1-0 defeat to South Korea.
Malaysia skipper Najmi Jazlan said: "We started slowly against Korea (lost 1-0) but everybody in my team believe that we are a strong side and our challenge is to beat every team in the Nations Cup."
Group A: France 3 Pakistan 3
Group B: South Korea 6 Canada 2, Malaysia 5 Japan 1