Azlan Shah Stadium spectators were treated to some terrific hockey on the first day of the 2019 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup at the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh, Perak, on Saturday.

There was no shortage of goals with 17 goals being scored, the most on an opening day of the tournament since the 2015 edition (17).

The goal fest seemed unlikely when India, the only returning visiting team from last year's tournament, kicked things off with a 2-0 win over 2018 Asian Games winners Japan.

Varun Kumar and Simranjeet Singh inspired their team's victory with goals in the 25th and 55th minute.

But the floodgates were open in the second match of the day, which saw South Korea demolish Canada 6-3.

The Koreans, who won the tournament in 1996 and 2010, raced to a 6-0 lead thanks to Lee Namyong's hat-trick, Jang Jonghyun's brace and Kim Junghoo's opening goal from a penalty corner.

Canada, ranked seven places above their opponents in the FIH World Rankings, made the score more respectful with late goals from Matthew Sarmento, Adam Froese and Fin Boothroyd.

Not to be outdone as the host nation, Malaysia stormed to a 5-1 win over Poland off the back of several successful penalty corner attempts.

The Speedy Tigers converted four of their eight penalty corners — three by Faizal Saari and one by Ashran Hamsani — and bagged one from open play through Fitri Saari for the victory.

Michal Kasprzyk grabbed a consolation goal for Poland, appearing at the tournament for the first time after South Africa pulled out, from a penalty corner right before the end of half time.

The result sent Malaysia to the top of the group ahead of South Korea and India due to a better goal difference.

The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup action will resume on Sunday, with all eyes likely on an Asian Games final rematch between Japan and Malaysia.

The top two teams from the round-robin stage will play in the final on March 30.