Taranaki (15 December, 2016): Malaysia Tigress defeated World No. 5 New Zealand 1-0 at the Taranaki Electricity Trust Multi Sports Centre today.
The Black Sticks Women, fresh from their foray in the Rio Olympics three months ago, have taken out the first and second of five tests series against the World 21-ranked Malaysians 3-0 and 2-0 respectively since K. Dharmaj’s Malaysian Tigress arrived here six days ago.
And today’s triumph by the Tigress in the third match of the series clearly proved a great motivational factor in the team’s upcoming games against the Kiwis on Saturday (Dec 17) and Sunday (Dec 18) before the Malaysians conclude their tour.
The Malaysians had six penalty corners and Fatin Shafika Mohd Sukri made it count from a rebound for the solitary goal win whilst the Women Blacks Stick had four opportunities and failed to capitalise on any.
“The girls played very well today and won six penalty corners compared to one in our first game and nothing in the second game,” said an elated Dharmaraj. “We created far more opportunities and I am happy with their performance. They just went out there and took the game to the Kiwis, started attacking more freely and found the space to score.
“It gave them a great sense of confidence and believing in themselves that they are capable of playing good hockey even against a top team like New Zealand. It was a well-deserved victory,” he added.
New Zealand, said Dharmaraj, played well too but was held back by a fortified defence who improved on their game and showed much more confidence after two matches here.
Black Sticks assistant coach Sean Dancer said the Malaysians are an improved side but was disappointed with the home team defeat.
“Malaysia played well and fought hard. They pressed well to get the winning goal. With a rest day tomorrow we will look to freshen up a little bit and focus on building on our consistency in the next game,” said Dancer.
“The result is disappointing and our basics were poor tonight,” he said. “We started well and created some good opportunities but unfortunately our final touches and shots at goal weren’t good enough.
“To Malaysia’s credit they were able to take their chance to win the game but we certainly need to be better for our next game.”