Last Sunday, September 1, I got to visit the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium to watch a men's hockey game in the Asia Cup. I got to watch the third place game between Pakistan and Malaysia at the stadium and the finals game between India and South Korea on TV.
In America, men don't really play field hockey, but most other countries involve men in field hockey. The game is really fast-paced, and there are points where one team will score a goal within 30 seconds of the last goal. To give you an insight into how India and South Korea destroyed their competition on the way to the Finals, I'm showing you guys the scores of the qualifying matches:
India beat Oman 8-0
India beat South Korea 2-0
India beat Bangladesh 9-1
India beat Malaysia 2-0
South Korea beat Bangladesh 9-0
South Korea lost to India 0-2
South Korea beat Oman 10-0
South Korea beat Pakistan 2-1
As you can see, these two teams were pretty good.
Anyways, Pakistan defeated Malaysia 3-1 in a stunning and "to the last minute" type of game. Malaysia actually led 1-0 at one point, but Pakistan scored 3 goals straight through the rest of the match to put it away.
South Korea went up 2-0 against India in the first half, but India came back in the second half to tie up the score. In response, South Korea scored another goal, and India countered with another equalizer. Finally, with about 2 minutes left in the game, South Korea scored its last goal and held on to win the nail-biter.
I think that hockey is a hard game to master, as evidenced by the amazing footwork and ball handling skills of the players. While men do not play hockey in the U.S., I really loved seeing the sport, and I have become a fan of the game. I definitely got to enjoy something I usually wouldn't see back home, and that truly is awesome!
Here are a few pictures of the stadium and videos of goals or excellent saves from the game. I hope you can see how great the sport is if you have never seen it played. If you do know about the game, I hope you enjoy these pictures and videos:
Pictures of the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh
Pakistan players in a huddle during a timeout
A corner shot goal by Pakistan
A save by the Pakistan goalie against a Malaysian corner shot