Friday, October 17, 2014

Same old story


India goalkeeper Pandey Abhinav (left) tries to curb Malaysia’s attack in their Sultan of Johor Cup match at the Taman Daya Stadium yesterday. Pic by Roslan Khamis


COACH Arul Selvaraj made a passionate call for a psychiatrist after Malaysia played to the same script and went down 4-2 to India in the Sultan of Johor Cup at the Taman Daya Stadium yesterday.
It was the same old story, as Malaysia let in two goals, before clawing back to 2-2, and then losing 4-2 and now it looks like they will be playing Pakistan in the fifth-sixth classification match on Sunday.

They played the same against Britain, going down two goals, clawing back, and then losing 3-2.
Malaysia meet Pakistan in their last pool match tomorrow, and only have one point to show after four matches.

Yesterday, India scored off three penalty corners and a penalty stroke while Malaysia scored field goals.

The India goals were scored by Harmanpreet Singh (25th, 27th, 55th) and Varun Kumar (65th). The Malaysian goals came off Sufi Ismat (37th) and Azli Misron (42nd).

“My players have shown their ability in every department and the only thing lacking is thinking players, who can keep their emotions in check and make sound judgements. And for this I need the help of an ISN psychiatrist (National Sports Institute) to develop their mental side,” said Arul.

India coach Harendra Singh was elated as his team are poised to play in the final, provided they beat Australia, but also had words of wisdom for Arul and his men: “Like I said before the India-Malaysia match (on Wednesday) the Malaysian players need to be allowed to play their own game and not be too regimental.

I have noticed many grey areas in the Malaysian side after four matches and I am sure coach Arul also knows their weaknesses and will be working to rectify them after this tournament.

After all, Arul is a capable coach and I am sure he has the ability to turn the boys around.”
Arul said his charges were only assembled eight months ago: “It is not an excuse, but this is a raw side, and have hardly trained as a unit as they also played in the Razak Cup, MHL and Malaysia Games this year, and then, I was also not around for almost 40 days as I was training the national side during the Asian Games.”

The reality is that Malaysia can’t afford to lose against whipping boys Pakistan, who have let in 15 goals thus far, as there is no excuse to stoop so low in our own backyard.

Meanwhile, Britain checked into the final when they beat Australia 5-1, leaving India and Australia to fight for the other spot.



By Jugjet Singh  - NST

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