KAZAN (Russia), July 10 (Bernama) -- Malaysia (Harimau Muda A) moved into the quarterfinals of the World University Games (Universiade) after finishing runner-up in Group C, courtesy of Great Britain who beat Italy 1-0.
Malaysia would not have qualified if Italy were to beat Great Britain by a 3-1 scoreline.
The Harimau Muda A would however, have an uphill task in the quarterfinals on Friday after being drawn against defending champion, Japan in a match that will be played at the Trudovye Rezervy Stadium in Kazan (5pm local time) or 9pm Malaysian time.
Malaysia who beat Italy 2-0 in their opening match, lost 0-2 to Great Britain while the fourth team in the group, Algeria, had withdrawn from the competition.
Due to Algeria's exit, Malaysia had a rest day today.
Coach Ong Kim Swee said making it to the quarterfinals of the Universiade was a major achievement for the country in the history of the games.
"I hope the players will put up an inspired performance against Japan on Friday. The team has better understanding and will not have problem adapting to the match," he said.
"Japan are the defending champion but I want the players to match their opponents with determination and fighting spirit."
Meanwhile, the Malaysian hockey squad, despite the presence of three National first team players, lost 1-4 to host Russia in a Group A match at the Kazan Field Hockey Centre.
The loss put a dent on Malaysia's hopes of making it to the final as only the group champions from Group A and B advance to the final.
Malaysia who beat Poland 7-1 in their first match has two matches remaining against Italy and South Africa while Group B is made up of France, Germany, South Korea, Ukraine and Japan.
From NURSYABIHA SUKRI -- BERNAMA