Britain are frustrated by officials

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The Independent Online
Great Britain's 2-2 draw with Malaysia on Thursday ended in confusion and frustration following the award of a penalty corner to Britain just 15 seconds from the end of the game.

David Whittle, the British manager, attempted to use a tactical ploy which South Africa had used so successfully in their 3-3 draw with South Korea.

After the award of a late penalty corner, they substituted their goalkeeper, which is the only time the clock is stopped for a substitution, to allow his strike players to get into position for the corner.

Whittle's request for the substitution of Simon Mason to enable him to get specialist striker Calum Giles on to the pitch was not seen by either umpire, with the Malaysians delaying sufficiently to ensure that the corner was never taken.

With the British players surrounding the umpire and officials' table Whittle registered an official protest but subsequently withdrew the protest when he realised it would be futile. "If the umpires don't see you the table can do nothing about it," he said.

A philosophical coach, Jon Copp, said: "Conceding a goal after four minutes made the game much harder. They just battened down the hatches from the very start. However, the game was there for us to take and we just didn't do it.

"We are not out of the tournament yet," Copp added. "We have just made it more difficult for ourselves."

Britain require wins against South Africa and Australia in their last two pool games to remain in the hunt for a semi-final place.

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