Egypt next for Malaysia

New Straits Times - - Sport - JUGJET SINGH

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.

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