Van Huizen’s men start cam­paign on a hes­i­tant note

New Straits Times - - Sport - JUGJET SINGH jug

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)

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