Monday, April 21, 2014

Razie given a lifeline by Dharmaraj

Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim (left) getting a word from national coach K. Dharmaraj. - filepic
Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim (left) getting a word from national coach K. Dharmaraj. - filepic

KUALA LUMPUR: Penalty corner specialist Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim has yet to recover fully from a shoulder injury but was surprisingly shortlisted for the Champions Challenge I hockey tournament, which begins in Kuantan on April 26.

National chief coach K. Dharmaraj included defender Razie in the 21-man team after putting him through the paces in Sunday’s 6-3 friendly win over China at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

The 27-year-old Razie dislocated his left shoulder while playing for Mumbai Magicians in the Hockey India League on Feb 4 and underwent a surgery on Feb 18.

“Razie played well despite being out of action since February. I will gauge his performance in two more friendlies against France on Tuesday and Poland on Thursday before deciding whether to name him for the Champions Challenge 1. I have shortlisted 21 players and will name the final 18 after the two friendlies,” said Dharmaraj.

Kevin Lim, a former Germany international, also made the 21-player list.

Nine players – goalkeepers Roslan Jamaluddin, Mohd Hazrul Faiz Ahmad Sobri; defenders Baljit Singh Charun, Sharil Irwan Nazli; midfielders Meor Azuan Mohamed Hassan, Norhizzat Sumantri and forwards S. Selvaraju, Izwan Firdaus and Hafifihafiz Hanafi – were dropped.

In the Champions Challenge 1, Malaysia are in Group B with France, South Korea and Canada. Group A has New Zealand, Ireland, Poland and Japan. The champions will gain an automatic berth to next year’s Champions Trophy.

Meanwhile, Malaysia emerged triumphant in the friendly series against China. The homesters won four, drew one and lost one.

In Sunday’s match played under the new format of 15 minutes of four halves, Malaysia scored through Ismail Abu (12th), Izwan Firdaus (15th and 50th), S. Selvaraju (25th), Faizal Saari (56th) and Ahmad Kazamirul Nasruddin (60th). Zhang Zhixnan (sixth) and Huang Yue (seventh and 51st) replied for China.

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