Sunday, October 25, 2009


Malaysia went down 3-1 against Australia in their 4th Test Match at the Tun Razak Stadium.

It was the third defeat for the World Cup Qualifiers bound Malaysians after the first two matches went in favour of the Aussies with scorelines of 3-1 and 5-1 respectively. The third match ended in a 3-3 draw on Thursday in Kuantan.

The final test will be played on Sunday and though the series have been won by the Aussies, the players will have 70 minutes to convince coach Tai Beng Hai that they are deserving of being on the flight to New Zealand.

But the performances of some of the younger players in the team was praised by National Sports Council Director General Dato Zolkples Embong.

Zolkples, just like previous NSC DG Dato Wira Mazlan Ahmad, has a soft spot for hockey and adopts a hands on approach for hockey since he was the Director of Management itself.

"The players need to improve on their fitness and speed. But what I would like to see more is for them to stay focussed and concentrate throught the match," said Zolkples after watching the match.

"They still tend to make silly errors and stray passes. And the must be confident to take a chance inside the D.

"Another aspect is that they must be quick in recovery especially when they lose the ball. Australia played close marking so players must be fast and should always open up their game to make it easier for team mates to pass the ball.

"What we need is for players to be more creative and more brave inside D so that we can win penalty corners."

Zolkples however was concerned on the performances of the midfielders.

"What we lack is a good play maker and good distributor of the ball," contends Zolkples.

And he hopes that the experienced Jiwa Mohan will be able to play this role effectively.

"I am very confident that the team can still improve before NZ," said Zolkples

"It is good to see younger players such as Faizal played confidently. Hope they will do better tomorrow."