Friday, June 06, 2014

HOCKEY: Sorry Malaysia blown away

POOR SHOW: Team fail to rise as World Cup campaign hits the skids

 MALAYSIA had the chance to salvage their World Cup campaign, but played scrappy hockey to hand England full points as they went down 2-0 at the Hague, Netherlands yesterday.

It was their third straight defeat, after being hammered 4-0 by Australia, and 6-2 by Belgium.
Their remaining matches in Group A are against India and Spain.

England also played in patches, but were lucky to take the lead in the fifth minute, when the entire Malaysian defence stood rooted and Mark Gleghorne had all the time to beat goalkeeper S. Kumar with a reverse stick flick.

Kumar was the best Malaysian player yet again, as he produced eight point-blank shots in 70 minutes and received accolades online via the England Hockey and International Hockey Federation tweets.
The match statistics provided by the FIH were damning as Malaysia only had one shot on target, while England had eight and scored two.

All three Malaysian penalty corners went to waste, while England scored one off their three.
Malaysia again played erratic hockey in the last 10 minutes of the match, when they should have been looking for the equaliser, and were made to pay when Ashley Jackson’s 67th minute goal sealed England’s victory.

World No 4 England now have seven points from three matches as they held Spain 1-1 and beat India 2-1 earlier.

Malaysia are left with the task of beating India and then Spain, if they don’t want to finish at the bottom of the pool.

Coach K. Dharmaraj’s men have let in 12 goals, and only scored two — indicating that the defenders have been sleeping on the job.

“It was another tough game, and letting in so many goals after three matches is demoralising, but I always look at the bright side.

“I believe we will not disappoint in the remaining matches,” said Kumar, whose heroics in all three games saved at least another 15 goals from being scored against Malaysia.

MALAYSIA’S World Cup Fixtures (Malaysian time) — Saturday: v India (8.30pm); Monday: v Spain (8.30pm).

Read more: HOCKEY: Sorry Malaysia blown away - Other - New Straits Times

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