Hockey: England face saved by Garcia hat-trick

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The Independent Online
By Bill Colwill in Ipoh, Malaysia

AUSTRALIA won the Six Nations Azlan Shah Cup here yesterday 10-9 in a penalty shoot-out against Germany after the teams had been locked 1-1 after extra time.

Russell Garcia celebrated equalling Jon Potter's England and Great Britain record of 234 international appearances with a face-saving hat-trick against Malaysia as a tired-looking England won 3-2 to avoid the wooden spoon.

The former Havant forward, now playing with Dutch club HDM, put England ahead following a penalty corner with a powerful high drag shot.

Two minutes into the second half Malaysia were on terms as Maninderjit Singh slammed home a penalty corner, then, in the 51st minute, Shanmuganathan Kuhan gave them the lead. In between England wasted four penalty corners.

With Brett Garrard temporarily suspended for a careless tackle in the 56th minute a possible England comeback looked doomed. Then Garcia lobbed the goalkeeper to put England on level terms. The winner came with just three minutes remaining when Garcia converted a penalty stroke after Jason Lee's penalty corner strike had been illegally stopped by Maninderjit.

Korea took the bronze medal with a 1-0 victory against New Zealand.

ENGLAND: Lewis (Cannock); Humphrey (Cannock), Halls (HDM, The Hague), Wyatt (Reading), Waugh (Southgate, capt); Thompson (Old Loughtonians), Pidcock (Cannock), Manpreet Kochar ( Reading); Sharpe (Cannock), Garcia (HDM, The Hague), Pearn (Reading). Substitutes used: Kalbir Takher (Cannock), Garrard (Teddington), Mayer (Cannock), Lee (Old Loughtonians).

MALAYSIA: Lopez; Maninderjit Singh; Jayhan Siva, Nor Azlan, Fernandez; Kuhan, Lam Mun Fatt, Arui Selvaraj; Nor Saiful Zaini (capt), Chairil Anwar, Kaliswaran. Substitutes used: Keevan Raj, Nishel Kumar, Gobinathan , Nasihin Nubli.

Umpires: J Wright (SA) & T O'Connor (NZ).

Sultan Azlan Shah Six Nations Cup (Ipoh, Mal): 5/6th: England 3, Malaysia 2. 3/4th: Korea 1, New Zealand 0. Final: Australia 1, Germany 1 (aet, Australia win 10-9 on pens).

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