VAN HUIZEN REMAINS OPTIMISTIC
Coach wants Malaysia to rebound against Britain
THOUGH Malaysia were held to an “unnecessary” 1-1 draw by Japan, and then mauled 6-1 by Australia, national coach Stephen van Huizen is still optimistic of his team’s performance in the 26th Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh.
The fact that Malaysia scored an equaliser off Haziq Shamsul (but the goal was disallowed by the umpires who deemed it as dangerous play) and could have changed the game on Sunday was van Huizen’s reasoning.
“We knew playing against the World No 2 would not be easy, and the disallowed goal somehow demoralised the team and broke their rhythm.
“But it’s not the end of the tournament for my players,” said van Huizen.
He believes that his men will bounce back against Britain today.
“Australia scored two goals when two of our players were on the bench after picking up cards.
“Overall, I’m happy with the commitment shown by my charges who never stop playing until the final whistle.”
Van Huizen said he will rally his men, and raise their optimism, as the remaining matches are against higher ranked teams.
“We will keep on trying, as we do not want to end up in the bottom.
“And if the final slips out of our hands, we will try and finish in the third-fourth bracket.”
Last year, Malaysia ended up fourth.
After Britain, Malaysia will play New Zealand tomorrow and India on Friday.
Britain last featured in the Azlan Shah Cup in 2012 after making their debut a year earlier where they won the bronze medal.
After two matches, Australia, India and Britain shared four points each following one draw and one win to stay at the top of the standings whilst Japan, New Zealand and Malaysia have one point from two matches.
TODAY: India v Australia (4pm), New Zealand v Japan (6pm), Malaysia v Britain (8.30pm).
TOMORROW: Japan v India (4pm), Britain v Australia (6pm), Malaysia v New Zealand (8.30pm).
Malaysia’s Firhan Ashaari (second from right) attempts to go past three Australia players during their Azlan Shah Cup match on Sunday. Australia won 6-1.