By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno
MANILA — The Philippine floorball team clinched the last seat in the Asia Oceania Confederation Cup semifinals after beating Malaysia in the quarterfinals, 5-4, at the Alonte Sports Arena on Wednesday night.
Ryan Hallden scored the game-winning goal with only two seconds left in the game as the Philippines walked away with the win despite blowing a 4-2 lead entering the third period.
Behind goals from Ter Min Chiam and Tristan Dass, Malaysia forced a 4-all tie, and the teams were on the verge of having to play another 10 minutes to settle the score.
But Hallden made sure overtime will not be needed to determine the winner as he scored on a goal from midcourt that slipped past the Malaysian goaltender’s hands and into the goal.
“He can shoot. That’s for sure,” Philippine coach Fredrik Nybaeck told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) his confidence on Hallden.
The Philippines, ranked 35th in the world, will next face Thailand, the top Asian team in the rankings at 14th overall, in the semifinals on Thursday night at the said venue.
Thailand earned a free pass to the Final Four by topping Group A.
“It’s gonna be a tight game, but it’s gonna be fun,” Nybaeck said. (PNA)