RAZIE IN A DILEMMA

Has lost his penalty cor­ner touch af­ter be­ing out of the game for nine months

New Straits Times - - Sport - JUGJET SINGH DHAKA jug jet@nst.com.my

TWELVE penalty cor­ners were won against Fiji on Tues­day, and Razie Rahim was given eight chances but only scored one. That too was from a low flick to the board. It was his third goal of the tour­na­ment, and all three have been from low flicks to the board.

Razie’s high drag flicks have been woe­fully off tar­get in the on­go­ing World League Round Two in Dhaka and the na­tional team’s one-time top penalty cor­ner flicker is desperate to re­gain his touch.

His loss of form co­in­cides with the nine months he spent un­der­go­ing Po­lice In­spec­tor and now, af­ter grad­u­at­ing, Razie is find­ing it hard to find his tar­get.

It was the same story when he played for Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) in the re­cent Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

“As you know, I un­der­went nine months of Po­lice train­ing and some­how lost my scor­ing touch af­ter that. I have been drag­ging the ball too much to­wards the right side and have been to­tally miss­ing the tar­get.

“How­ever, I’m grate­ful that the coach has been giv­ing me the bulk of the penalty cor­ners in Dhaka to im­prove my­self,” said Razie, who only scored four goals in the MHL for KLHC this sea­son.

“I hope the coach gives me more chances in the quar­ter-fi­nal against Sri Lanka for me to get it right. I need all the chances I can get to get back to my old self,” said Razie, who scored eight goals in the Sin­ga­pore World League Round Two in 2015.

The lanky player is also a solid de­fender, and if he gets it right in the knock-out stages, it will be a breeze for Malaysia to claim the gold medal in Dhaka.

“We have been keep­ing close tabs and also mo­ti­vat­ing Razie to get back his form. That’s why I have been giv­ing him the lion’s share of penalty cor­ners here even though I have three other op­tions in Fitri (Shaari), Na­jmi (Ja­zlan) and Shahril (Saabah).

“We need him to get back to his best not only for this tour­na­ment, but the World League Semi-fi­nals as well,” said Malaysian coach Stephen van Huizen.

Van Huizen and his men watched China play Sri Lanka in the last Group B match yes­ter­day.

“On pa­per we should beat Sri Lanka in the quar­ter-fi­nals, but we know that we can’t take them lightly. We have our op­tions, like Fitri who scored a penalty cor­ner goal against Fiji, to be ro­tated in the knock-out stages and help us get into the fi­nal,” said van Huizen.

Razie Rahim

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