Having lost their 14 spot in the FIH Rankings, Malaysia could well end up losing more should they fail to get the better of China in the Aaian Games this November.
Malaysia has been drawn in the same group as hosts China, Asian champions South Korea and minnows Singapore and Oman.
Making up the other group is Pakistan, India, Japan, Bangladesh and Hong Kong.
For the record Malaysia lost to China at the 4 Nation in Dalian last month after having registered two successive wins, in the World Cup Qualifiers in Invercargill last November and the Azlan Shah Cup in May this year.
Malaysia have targeted gold at the Asian Games as it offers an automatic spot for London Olympics in 2012.
South Korea, despite the recent slump, have started rebuilding as evident in the Azlan Shah where they emerged as joint champs with India, will start off as favorites to top the group, leaving China and Malaysia to fight it out.
Malaysia win bronze in the 2002 Busan Asian Games but failed to make the semis in Doha four years later.
And if they fail to get past China this November, MHF is expected to press the panic button and renewed calls for a foreign coach will start.
Questions have been raised on the preparation of the national team as they are playing matches against clubs.
But with the coaches being appointed late, in April, they did not have much time to draw up a decent program and hence the matches against low key teams.
Suffice to say there will only be one party to blame should Malaysia fail to make the semis, and it is MHF itself, right from the Executive Committee to the general secretariat.
But why worry as coaches normally get sacked, while the decision makers line up another victim to be slaughtered.
Group A: South Korea, Malaysia, China, Singapore, Oman.
Group B: Pakistan, India, Japan, Bangladesh, Hong Kong.
Women (Round robin format)
China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, India, Kazakhstan, Thailand.