Malaysia strengthened their position at the top of the 2019 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup group stage after beating Japan 4-3 on Sunday.
It was their first meeting since the Speedy Tigers were defeated in the 2018 Asian Games final, losing 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out after drawing 6-6 in regular time, last September.
It did not take long for Roelant Oltmans' to bring the Azlan Shah Stadium crowd to their feet as they raced to a quick 2-0 lead with Faizal Saari and Aiman Rozemi scoring in the first quarter.
Kazuma Murata pulled one back as soon as the second quarter began, but Faizal restored his side's lead in the 25th minute.
A Razie Rahim penalty corner goal in between strikes from Kota Watanabe Koji Yamasaki was enough to seal the victory.
The win allowed Malaysia to open a two-point lead at the too after India and South Korea played out a 1-1 draw in an earlier game.
The Bharat Army looked set to bag full points after Mandeep Singh gave them a 28th-minute lead, but the South Koreans, who had missed seven penalty corners, made their eighth attempt count in the final minute of the game for honours even.
In another match on the second day of the tournament, Poland received another thrashing as they lost 4-0 to Canada.
Poland, who lost 5-1 to Malaysia on their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup debut on Saturday, were left rueing their luck as they failed to convert any of their four penalty corners.
Canada, who scored three goals in the opening loss to South Korea, did not lose their scoring touch as Brenden Bissett, Devohn Teixera, Gordon Johnston and Balraj Panesar led them to victory.
The tournament resumes on Tuesday, with Malaysia clashing sticks with India, Japan facing Canada and Poland taking on South Korea.
Seng Foo Lee
Sun Mar 24 2019
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