Friday, August 27, 2010


Malaysia defeated Scotland 3-1 for their second win in as many match at the Insep Five Nations Hockey Challenge in Paris today.

The other match saw France and Ireland sharing honours with a 3-3 draw.

With the win Malaysia tops the standings after two matches with six points, followed by Scotland on 3 points courtesy of their 5-4 win over hosts France in the first match. Ireland have two points as they played to a scoreless draw with Poland on Wednesday while hosts France and Poland have a single point each.

It was a marked improvement in terms of performance for the national team as they managed to restrict Scotland and not concede goals as was the case in their first match against Poland on Tuesday.

The two changes made by coach Stephen van Huizen to the starting line up made the significant difference as both keeper S. Kumar and defender Baljit Singh were in their element in the match to thwart the Scots.
Although Kumar had yet to receive his luggage, he borrowed attire from other players and pulled off several saves to keep Malaysia in the hunt for its first title this decade.

"It was a better performance as the players kept their composure and frustrated Scotland. The two early goals gave them the confidence but more importantly the players were able to preserve the lead and build on it," said coach Stephen van Huizen.

"We do not have depth in the squad, not as much as I would have liked. Hence some players had to remain on the pitch longer then the others.

"For instance Razie is one player that is consistent and intelligent when it comes to pacing himsef in a given match. He is a vital clog in defence so I opted to keep him on the pitch for a longer duration then others."

This time around Malaysia raced to a early 2-0 lead within the first ten minutes thanks to goals from Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (7th minute penalty corner set-piece) and Hafifihafiz Hanafi ( 10th minute).

Mohd Razie Rahim converted a penalty corner in the 49th minute to give Malaysia a 3-0 lead. Scotland reduced the deficit in the 63rd minute when Mark Ralph scored off a penalty corner.

Malaysia take on Ireland on Saturday before completing their fixtures on Sunday with a atch against hosts France.