Sunday, January 15, 2012


In the words of the national coach, the two Chinese wins over Malaysia were no big deals.

And the same can be said about Malaysia's 4-2 win over China in the 3rd match of the five match series at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil this evening.

Malaysia may have registered a win but their performance was far from impressive as the desire to win matches was still missing and the team capitalized on some poor umpiring decisions and China's inability to control their anger.

If only Malaysia had nine other players with the passion of Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin and Azlan Misron which will make them safe bets to negotiate their way safely past the opponents in the Olympic Qualifiers next March in Dublin.

Instead they have a fiery coach who cringes and becomes defensive at the slightest criticism, unable to look into the positive side of any critical analysis made.

But putting the egoistic person aside, the players are capable of playing good hockey if they put their minds to it, as evident in the last 15 minutes of the match.

Perhaps the fact that the Juniors hammered China 6-2 the previous day awoke some players from the slumber but what was more interesting was watching the activity on the bench where Stephen can Huizen was seen making the substitutions at regular intervals, talking to players that came off the pitch most of the time.

China opened scoring through a penalty corner in the 23rd minute with Lu Yixian finding the mark from a low flick.

The halftime score was in favour of the visiting team but it all changed in the second half largely due to poor umpiring that favored the home team.

Moha Amin Rahim made it count from Malaysia's third penalty corner in the 47th minute to draw level.

Then in the space of five minutes Malaysia were 3-1 up.

Azlan Misron robbed the Chinese defender of the ball and laid up a pass to Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin who unleashed a reverse stick hit sailing into goal.

And five minutes later Mohd Fithan Ashaari was on hand to score Malaysia's third.

It got better for the Malaysians as the Chinese fumed at the umpiring decisions and Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim scored off a penalty corner in the 61st minute to make it 4-1 for the hosts.

Though China reduced the deficit in the 64th minute via a penalty corner through Song Yi, Malaysia held on to keep the series alive.