Tuesday, September 28, 2010


The second friendly match between Malaysia and New Zealand at the Tun Razak Stadium was played minus the thunderstorm that affected play in the first match that ended in a 2-2 stalemate.

And not only was the bad weather missing, so was the top officials of the Malaysian Hockey Federation as there was no member of the Royalty present nor was there a VVIP that they had to show off to.

Ironically, with the exception of one paid staff of the MHF, the others too were indisposed or adopted the " tidak apa " attitude towards the national team that is preparing for the Commonwealth and Asian Games.

Missing on both days was the Deputy President Nur Azmi Ahmad who is the Chairman of the National Team Management Committee.

Perhaps this has largely due to the fact that the President is not in the country and the MHF campaigning has kept him busy as he tries to ensure he remains on the hot-seat for another four years.

Malaysia defeated New Zealand 3-0, but what was more commendable was their overall performance as they defended in numbers and were fast in their counter attacks.

So back to the national team that none of the top brass cares for. It was a marked improved performance as they managed to dominate large spells of the match with a controlled display of skills and tactical planning.

Malaysia had 14 players in the line up that lost 2-1 in the crucial World Cup Qualifier in Invercargill while the Kiwis had 13 players from that match.

A minute before halftime Mohd Shahrun Nabil burst through on the right and unleashed an unstoppable hit into the roof of the net, something Kelvinder should have done when presented with a similar opportunity early in the match.

Malaysia trooped off the pitch leading 1-0 and that would have pleased the coaching staff.

In the 41st minute, Mohd Amin Rahim made it 2-0 from Malaysia's fourth penalty cornet. Prior to this all three penalty corner attempts were taken by Muhd Razie Rahim.

Izwan Firdaus Ahmad Tajuddin scored in the 62nd minute to give Malaysia a 3-0 lead against the world eight ranked team and that gave the team more confidence in the closing stages of the match, something that has been a bane over the past decade.