SINGAPORE: Malaysia rose to the occasion to record their biggest-ever win over Oman, winning 7-0 in a Group A match to top the table in the World Hockey League Second Round at the Sengkang Hockey Stadium.
It was Malaysia’s second straight win, having beaten Ukraine 5-1 on Saturday. Malaysia will wrap up the group fixtures against winless Singapore on Tuesday.
Skipper Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim started the ball rolling, sending a low flick past Oman goalkeeper Said Al Hasni in Malaysia’s first penalty corner in the seventh minute.
Forward Faizal Saari then made it 2-0 in the 17th minute. Midfielder Mohd Marhan Mohd Jalil put his name on the score sheet with two quick goals in the 22nd and 27th minutes.
By the 38th minute, Malaysia were leading 5-0 up with Faizal scoring his second goal of the match and third in the tournament.
Malaysia eased off in the second half, adding two more goals through Izwan Firdaus Ahmad Tajuddin (44th) and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (46th).
National coach Tai Beng Hai was full of praise for his players.
“We played much better than we did in the first match against Ukraine. I am happy as the players played to their true form and made good use of the chances.
“Oman played a robust game, but it did not affect us. Only defender Faiz (Helmi Jali) received a knock on his knee. We need to check how bad the injury is,” said Beng Hai.
On the upcoming match against Singapore, Beng Hai said: “I want another good performance. Although Singapore lost both their matches, we cannot take them lightly. We are here to win every match and live up to our tag as the top-seeded team.”
In another Group A match, Ukraine registered their first win by edging Singapore 2-1.
Oleksandr Diachenko gave Ukraine the lead with a field goal in the 44th minute. But their joy was short-lived as Singapore, who lost 3-2 to Oman on Saturday, equalised two minutes later through a penalty corner conversion by Muhammad Haseef Salim.
Viacheslav Paziuk was Ukraine’s hero, scoring the winning goal off a penalty stroke in the 56th minute.
by Aftar Singh - The Star