Duncan Scott came to Great Britain’s defence in the 51st minute by slotting the ball through the legs of goalkeeper Muhammad Zaimi Mat Deris in a goalmouth melee after both teams failed to make any breakthrough in three quarters.
Malaysian head coach Wallace Tan attributes the defeat to the many missed chances and failure of searching penalty corners.
“Overall it was a good game the players played. They are only 17 and 18 years old and lack the experience. WE only kept pressure on the British in the last two quarters.”
Great Britain assistant coach Colin Clarke, said: “It was a really tough match. We started off strongly and played till the end although we could have scored early. Malaysia was really good and kept us under a lot of pressure.”
“At the end of the day it was going to be anybody’s match and we had a chance which Scott put through. We now look towards our next match against the United States (USA) and we respect them.”
It was the British who were far more adventurous, going on early counter attacks by earning two penalty corners within a space of three minutes in the first quarter but failed to score as Muhammad Zaimi stood his ground.
Play was then mostly confined to the middle of the field as Great Britain, champions in 2015, and Malaysia, winners of the 2011 inaugural edition but finished fifth last year, carried their battle into the next stage.
The Malaysians, however, earned the first penalty corner of the match in the 23rdminute. Team captain Nik Muhammad Aiman Nik Rozemi’s low drag flick was cleared by goalkeeper Chris Wyver, one of three GB members who featured in the 2015 winning team.
Great Britain went on to earn their fourth penalty corner with 44 seconds of the second quarter remaining but Gareth Griffiths failed to make a clean stop as both teams trooped out of the field masking disappointments.
The host, however, posted the first real threat to the British in 47th minute. As the match flowed freely Nik Muhammad Aiman latched onto a loose ball straight into the path of an on rushing Wyver but unfortunately the ball sailed over the bar.
However, in a sudden counter attack in the 51st minute, the British went ahead when Scott blasted the ball through the legs of Muhammad Zaimi.
The Malaysians will take on tomorrow (8.30pm) and will need to raise their gam e against the two-time champions. The Indians have earned three points following a narrow 3-2 win over Japan in an earlier match.