England outclass Malaysia to reach final – highlights & report

England outclass Malaysia to reach final - highlights & report
England men’s hockey thrash Malaysia to go through to Sultan Azlan Shah Cup final

England claimed a superb 7-2 win over Malaysia on Friday to seal a place in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup final.

Head coach Bobby Crutchley’s side raced into a 7-0 lead against the hosts, with Barry Middleton, Sam Ward and Mark Gleghorne each scoring twice.

Ollie Willars also found the net in Ipoh as England secured second place in the table, behind unbeaten Australia.

Australia beat England 4-1 earlier in the tournament and they will meet again in Saturday’s final, at 12:30 GMT.

Both sides are preparing for the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast, from 5-14 April, with Australia having won gold in 2014 and England bronze.

Crutchley’s side, ranked seventh in the world, secured second place in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup table with just their second win in five games.

Having beaten Ireland on Wednesday and achieved draws with India and Argentina, England knew a win would see them into the final as Argentina, who finished third in the table, lost 3-1 to Australia earlier on Friday.

Captain George Pinner’s early save from Malaysian captain Razie Rahim’s penalty corner kept the game goalless before Gleghorne fired a penalty corner high into the net to set England on course for a dominant win.

Willars smashed in a second and Middleton produced a reverse-stick finish before notching his second early in the second half, turning home a low cross.

Ward found the net twice in three minutes and Gleghorne added a penalty as England swept aside Malaysia – ranked 12th in the world.

Also on Friday, Ireland beat India 3-2 in their final group game to register their first points of the tournament.

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