NERVY WIN FOR MALAYSIA
Van Huizen’s men start campaign on a hesitant note
MALAYSIA started badly, but came back a little stronger in the second half to beat Bangladesh 3-0 in the curtain raiser of the World League Round Two yesterday.
No 1 penalty corner flicker Razie Rahim was a bundle of nerves as he made silly passes and unforced errors, but all that was forgotten after he scored Malaysia’s second goal in the 19th minute.
It was a low flick which went rolling in, but the effort was enough to give him and the rest of the players some breathing space.
Marhan Jalil (fifth), and Aiman Nik Rosemi (54th) were the other scorers.
Bangladesh never expected a win from Malaysia, as their coach Oliver Kurtz said that he is only looking for his team to beat Fiji and Oman to finish second in Group A.
“We know the strength of Malaysia and did not expect a win, but played better than expected. We are looking for full points from our next matches to finish second in the group,” said Kurts.
But Bangladesh did give Malaysia some nervy moments, especially when the defenders took things too easy.
Malaysian coach Stephen van Huizen agreed his players can play better.
“When we were 2-0 up at halftime, I told them to settle down and not let Bangladesh score at this stage as it would build their confidence and make the match much harder to win.
“Anyway, we came here to win all matches and not score dozens of goals in every match as it might result in injuries,” said van Huizen.
“If you ask the coaching staff, as well as the players, they will surely tell you that the performance was below par and we did just enough.
“Bangladesh did play open hockey, but we missed a handful of sitters and made them more confident, which we cannot afford in our next two matches,” said van Huizen.
Malaysia play Oman today, who beat Fiji 7-0 yesterday.
“Again, we need to score early goals and not underestimate any team in this tournament where rankings can go out the window on a bad day,” said van Huizen.
Bangladesh are world ranked 32nd, Malaysia 13th and Oman are 31st.
RESULTS — Group A: Oman 7 Fiji 0, Malaysia 3 Bangladesh 0;
Group B: China 7 Ghana 3, Egypt 6 Sri Lanka 2.
TODAY — Group A: Oman v Malaysia (3.45pm), Bangladesh v Fiji (6pm); Group B: Ghana v Sri Lanka (11am), Egypt v China (1.30pm)