Wales after finishing fifth in the FIA Series Finals in Malaysia.

No China Crisis For Wales As They Seal Fifth Spot In Malaysia

Wales ended their FIH Series Finals campaign as they started it on a high as they beat China to finish in fifth spot.

Jacob Draper, Gareth Furlong and James Carson struck to give the men’s team  3-2 victory in Kuala Lumpur.

Wales, ranked 24 in the world, ended the tournament having won three of their five games and though they were third in the group that was only on goal difference.

And two of those victories were against higher ranked sides as they followed up their victory against Canada (No 10) in the opening match by seeing off the Chinese (No 14) in the 5th/6th place decider.

The only deafest came against Austria in the final group stage and a narrow 2-1 loss to the hosts in the cross-over fixture against the Pool B runners-up on Wednesday.

Dong Yang gave China the lead at the Bukit Jalil Stadium to take his tally to three for the tournament.

Gareth Furlong took his cap tally past 100 and finished with three goals in the tournament.

But Wales levelled after Draper burst through the China defence to rifle the ball home past the China goalkeeper Yan Rongyao.

And coach Zak Jones’ side were rewarded for their attacking play with further goals from Furlong – who also took his tally to three for the tournament – and Carson whose shot took a wicked deflection beyond the Chinese keeper.

Ieuan Tranter in the Welsh goal kept then lead intact despite Chinese pressure in the third quarter before Su Lixing finally found a way past him.

But Wales held on for another morale-boosting victory and they will now turn their attentions to this summer’s European Championships in Belgium.

Goal hero Draper said: “After conceding a goal early on, we settled down and started to play the hockey we wanted to play.

“We managed to pass nicely and controlled the game. We dug in well at the end and showed we had strong legs.”

“We scored three great team goals and they came from all over the pitch.”

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