Wednesday, November 11, 2009


The fighting spirit was evident and the performance a few notches better then what was displayed against the likes of Austria and Wales. But Malaysia ended up on the losing end and in the process were left with a mathematical chance to make the World Cup next year.

And with fate no longer in their hands, Malaysia can only hope that New Zealand field their best team against China on Thursday and win while Malaysia has to win at all costs against China on Saturday to make the final and have a shot for the World Cup.

“We were on the receiving end of some poor decisions by the umpires,” said coach Tai Beng Hai.

“When we drew level, we had control of the match but the umpires started making decisions that rattled our players. After that our players started losing their focus and allowed soft goals.

“We may have lost the battle today and there is still the war to be won. So winning the next two matches will give us a chance to face New Zealand again and try win the berth to New Delhi.”

Malaysia may have paid a heavy price in the defeat as skipper Mohd Madzli Ikmar limped off after being struck on the thigh and could be doubtful for the crucial clash against Scotland on Thursday.

New Zealand took a 2-0 lead in the opening ten minutes, thanks to goals by Simon Child in the 6th minute and Phillip Burrows in the 10th minute. While Simon’s goal was as a result of a neat penalty corner variation, the second goal conceded was a result of poor marking.

But for once in the tournament Malaysia showed their mental strength, reducing the deficit via Azlan Misron in the 30th minute.

After the break, it was a different Malaysian team. S. Selvarajoo, who played a total of five minutes in the last two matches, showed his skills to break free on the right to lay a pass to youngster Faisal Saari to draw Malaysia level in the 44th minute.

However a mistake by Mohd Amin Rahim resulted in a penalty corner in the 52nd minute, which Hayden Shaw dispatched with ease to give the Black Sticks a 3-2 lead. Simon consolidated the lead in the 62nd minute and Malaysia has a mountain to climb.