Monday, November 16, 2009


Tears flowed freely after the Malaysia lost out on a place in the 2010 New Delhi World Cup.

Among those who had tears in his eyes was team manager George Koshy, and players S. Kumar, Mohd Madzli Ikmar, Mohd Shukri Mutalib and Jiwa Mohan, mainstays of the team over the years.

Malaysia has only themselves to blame for missing out on the World Cup as they had only 13 minutes to hold out after taking the lead in the 18th minute through Muhd Razie Abdul Rahim.

But the defence cracked, as the youngsters clearly did not have to ability to handle the pressure cooker situation, especially when New Zealand opted to turn the screws by attacking on Malaysia’s left.

After keeping out the Black Sticks world-class penalty corner ace Hayden Shaw for the first four penalty corners awarded, Malaysia fell to two strikes of Andrew Hayward, heir apparent to Shaw.

“We were unlucky that New Zealand upped the tempo in the closing stages of the match and we fumbled when in possession,” said coach Tai Beng Hai.

“I give credit to my players for making a game out of this especially since many had wrote us off initially.

“Of course it is a sad day for Malaysian hockey but I hope good comes out of this failure as we have along way to go to match the top teams.

“What is important is we play in quality tournaments and expose the younger players.”

Malaysia were awarded three penalty corners before New Zealand struck the killer blows and it was surprising that Malaysia did not plan for a secret variation given that it was a crucial stage of the match.

And keeping the experienced Madzli on the bench until the 69th minute also did not help the Malaysian cause, especially when Malaysia should have closed that match by packing the defence.

We were tactically outclassed and outfoxed by Shane McLeod, period.