Malaysia chalked up an 11-0 win over Chinese Taipei in their Group A match and took them closer to a semi-final berth at the Asian Games hockey event at the GBK Hockey Stadium.The win gave the Malaysians seven points from three matches and have one tie with Japan on Monday. The Malaysians will need to win that to confirm their berth but a lot too will depend on the Japan-China game.
Malaysian coach Muhammad Dharmaraj Abdullah said they should be concerned about the goal difference and the mathematical chances of making the semi-finals.
“It is down to the game against Japan. Why worry about the other games? We can do this on our own and not wait for others to do a favor.
“Of course I am happy with the win today ad we kept the momentum going but we should not have wasted some of the chances. Having a goal difference is good as it gives another option.
“The player’s movement was also good, and I feel we need to take every match seriously,” he said.
Raja Norsharina Raja Shabuddin and Fazila Sylvester Silin reached a milestone as they celebrated their 100th cap for Malaysia.
Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Dato Sri Subahan Kamal presented them with a bouquet.
It was a pleasant moment as the team kept in touch for a semi-final berth after the big win over Chinese Taipei.
Penalty corner specialists Nuraini Abdul Rashid scored five goals in the win. The 29-year-old player, however, missed quite a number as well.
The Malaysians had 19 penalty corners in the match but scored only four. One other attempt resulted in a penalty stroke.
Nuraini scored in the third, 25th, 39th, 43rd and 55th minutes of the match.
Nur Zafirah Aziz scored a brace with goals in the 20th and 51st minute.
The other goal scorers were Noor Hasliza Md Ali (ninth), Norazlin Sumantri (25), Nuramirah Shakira (31) and Hanis Nadia Onn in the 50th minute.
Nuraini said she was happy with his effort and hopes to keep it going in the match against Japan.
“Yes we did well to score 11 goals but we could have scored more. In our haste, we missed some easy chances. They also played more defensively and that restricted our movement up front.
“The team is confident, and we hope to make the match against Japan count. We know they are higher ranked than us. But that is the challenge,” she said.