GB suffer first Sultan of Johor Cup defeat to Malaysia

Matt Ramshaw 2019 Sultan of Johor Cup
Malaysia 1 (1)
Muhibddin (46’, PC)

Great Britain 0 (0)

Great Britain’s U21 men will need to wait to secure their place in the 2019 Sultan of Johor Cup final after being beaten by Malaysia.

The defending champions lost their 100% record in the tournament thanks to a goal from Muhibddin Moharam.

They side dominated much of the game but found it difficult to break down a Malaysian defence determined to make up for a heavy loss to New Zealand the day before.

The result means GB currently sit second in the group needing a point in their final game against India on Friday to ensure they are still in with a chance of retaining their title.

Having reached the final each time they have contested the tournament – winning in 2015 and 2018 and finishing as runners-up in 2014 and 2017 – Jon Bleby’s team knew a draw would see them reach Saturday’s final with a game to spare.

Chances came at a premium in the first half, with Andrew McConnell providing much of the attacking impetus early on, setting up Thomas Russell in the seventh minute before shooting himself moments later. However, both attempts were easily saved.

Ioan Wall then saw an effort deflected over the bar while Ollie Payne was called into action at his near post in the 21st minute to thwart Muhammad Hassan.

Both teams had to defend hard too, with GB receiving four green cards in seven minutes while Malaysia did well to keep out a number of corners in the second quarter.

Great Britain took control of the game after half-time but it wasn’t until the 42nd minute when they forced their next chance as Ramshaw’s shot whistled over the crossbar before another corner was charged down.

However it was the hosts who came closest to taking the lead as Shello Silverius raced into GB’s circle, only to be met by an onrushing James Mazarelo who put in a brilliant tackle to avert the danger.

Malaysia then won their first corner moments into the final quarter and immediately made it count as Muhibddin reacted quickest after the initial effort was blocked.

GB then pushed hard to find the equaliser but, despite Malaysia finishing the game with ten men, couldn’t find a way through.

They will meet India in the final group game at 09:10 on Friday 18 October, a game you can watch live here.

Starting XI: Mazarelo, Nurse, Oates, Griffiths, Ramshaw, West, Park (C), Wall, Mackenzie, Buckle, Rushmere
Subs: Payne, Stanley, Russell, Golden, Bhuhi, Williamson, McConnell