The national men’s hockey team will play another weaker team in their second match at the Asian Games, but the team focus will be on keeping a clean slate.
Seasoned defender Muhammad Razie Abd Rahim said that letting in two goals against Kazakhstan in their opening Group B match was not good as it showed complacency on their part.The Malaysians beat Kazakhstan 16-2 in the opening tie. On Thursday they will go up against Thailand. The Thais are a familiar foe in the SEA Games and the Malaysians should have no trouble coming on top.
“But we have to focus of our job at the back. Making silly mistakes will only get us punished. We need to be consistent and maintain a high discipline.
“There should be no let up even if play the weaker teams. Every match for me is important and we have to keep on trying to win them,” he said.
In the match against the Kazakhstan side, the 31-year-old Razie scored five goals. But he is not looking at being a top scorer.
“We looked sharp with our finishing inside the D box and our attacking movements were good. But we should not have conceded two goals against Kazakhstan and we will rectify in training before the next game,” he said.
“I don’t have a target to be the top scorer or a certain number of goals. I just want to my goalscoring chances to count. I managed to score five from six penalty corners so I’m happy with my conversion rate.”
“For me, if a game is 50-50, penalty corners will be important, that’s why it’s important from me, Faizal (Saari), Shahril (Saabah) and Syed (Mohamad Syafiq Syed Cholan) to be focused when we get such opportunities.”
Thailand was on the losing end in their opening tie against Pakistan. They have played Malaysia in last year SEA Games and will be hoping to put away some goals.
But they face a very determined Malaysia who has set the gold medal as their target for this Asian Games.
Razie who is playing in his fourth Asian Games is also determined to do well as it will mean a chance to book their Olympic Berth early.
“Yes, that is the objective of all the top teams here. We do stand a chance and we need to make all our shots count,” he added.