Egypt next for Malaysia
Malaysia took things too lightly against World No 41 Sri Lanka, before qualifying for the semi-finals of the World League Round Two in Dhaka, Bangladesh, yesterday.
The score was 1-1 at the 15th minute mark, as World No 13 Malaysia looked like they had yet to wake up for the 9.30am (Dhaka time) match while Sri Lanka were looking for the biggest upset of their lives.
But it was not to be as Malaysia won 5-2 and will now play Egypt in the semi-finals tomorrow. The top two teams in Dhaka qualify to play in the World League Semifinals — either in London or South Africa.
The WL Semi-finals offers tickets to the 2018 India World Cup.
Yesterday, Rosli Ramadan scored a ninth minute field goal, but Sri Lanka equalised in the 15th minute off K. Nalantha. But Malaysia were in no mood to lose, and went on to score off Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (18th), Ramadan (22nd), Aiman Nik Rozemi (23rd) and Rashid Baharom (29th).
The other Sri Lanka goal was scored by D. Ishanka in the 27th minute.
The ugly incident in the game was when Sri Lanka player Samida de Costha was flashed the red card for hitting Joel van Huizen on the head in an off the ball incident in the third quarter.
The red card was, however, later rescinded.
Malaysian coach Stephen van Huizen was a relieved man, as his players survived the robust game.
“There were many other incidents (other than Joel’s), as Aiman (Nik Rosemi) was hit on the hand and legs while other players were also hit off the ball.
“But I told my players not to retaliate because we couldn’t afford cards or injuries as we need the best for the semi-finals,” said van Huizen.
After taking a 5-2 lead, Malaysia started playing possession hockey.
“We only needed a win, not a high number of goals, and that’s why we pulled the brakes in the fourth quarter,” said van Huizen.
RESULTS — Q-finals: Malaysia 5 Sri Lanka 2, China 17 Fiji 0, Oman 4 Ghana 3, Egypt 5 Bangladesh 1.
TOMORROW — S-finals:
Malaysia v Egypt, China v Oman.