National team survives scare by China to set up semi-final meeting with Korea in ISTAF SuperSeries THAILAND 2013/14
BANGKOK, (28 SEPTEMBER 2013): The national team carved out a hard-fought 2-0 quarter-final win against China in ISTAF SuperSeries THAILAND 2013/14 to book a semi-final slot against Korea.
Team manager Jamaluddin Hassan, who rested first choice tekong Ahmad Aizat Azmi and striker Norshahruddin Mad Ghani, started with Sahidan Md Ali and Mohd Hanafiah Dolah and saw his boys fall behind 7-10 in the first set. A pep talk and change of strategy during a time out then saw Malaysia scoring six consecutive points to take the lead and secure a 15-11 win.
Jamaluddin brought in Ahmad Aizat and Norshahruddin in the second set when the team allowed China to draw level after taking an 8-5 lead. Alongside Mohd. Syazreen Qamar Salehan, Malaysia’s first-choice trio traded points with China until both teams were level at 14-14 before winning 16-14.
“The important thing was that we won,” said Jamaluddin. “We once again made the mistake of following our opponents’ style of play, and China played a slow, safe game.”
He said the team needed to be more aggressive and commanding, especially when playing teams ranked below them.
“I don’t know why they were afraid of China in today’s match when it should be the other way around.”
On tomorrow’s semi-final against Korea, Jamaluddin noted that his team was more confident playing the ISTAF SuperSeries first-leg champions after defeating them twice in a day in the recent King’s Cup tournament in Udonthani.
Other quarter-final matches saw South Korea beat Japan 15-10, 15-9 and the USA defeat Iran 8-15, 15-12, 15-12.
* Note to editor: The Malaysian women’s team will play Thailand today at 7.00pm Malaysian time; tournament updates to come after the match.
ISTAF SuperSeries THAILAND 2013/14 – September 28
Malaysia bt China 2-0 (15-11, 16-14)
South Korea bt Japan 2-0 (15-10, 15-9)
USA bt Iran 2-1 (8-15, 15-12, 15-12)
More information on ISTAF SuperSeries THAILAND 2013/14
ISTAF SuperSeries THAILAND 2013/14 is the second round of ISTAF SuperSeries 2013/14. Alongside the ISTAF World Cup, the elite, internationally-recognised ISTAF SuperSeries is the only sepaktakraw tournament recognised by ISTAF and therefore plays a key role in deciding the official ISTAF World Rankings.
In both men’s and women’s competition, only the top two teams from each group advance to the play-off stage based on points accumulated. Unlike ISTAF SuperSeries INDIA, where each match was decided over five sets, group, play-off and quarter-final matches here will be decided in three sets over 15 points. The semi-finals, 3rd/4th placing and final matches will all be played over five sets.
ISTAF SuperSeries THAILAND 2013/14 will be televised on Thailand’s leading network Channel 3. Sports fans throughout the region will get to enjoy almost eight hours of live TV coverage, as well as selected matches featuring the Thai men’s and women’s teams.
All in all, ISTAF SuperSeries THAILAND 2013/14 will be watched by fans in 70 countries.
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