Malaysia booked a spot in the second round of the World League by outclassing Kazakhstan 11-1 at the Kuantan Hockey Stadium.
With two teams moving into the next round, there was never a doubt that Malaysia would take one of the spots. And despite being apprehensive earlier on with regards to the strength of Kazakhstan, Malaysia showed their class in hammering them into submission, taking a 6-0 lead in the first half.
And the match against Sri Lanka tomorrow will be a sheer formality for Malaysia to complete the fixtures. What is remarkable is that Malaysia has
“Honestly I never expected this scoreline as Kazakhstan has an experienced side. Perhaps they were tired playing two matches on consecutive days. Still I will not take the credit away from my players who played a high tempo match, keeping the opponents backpedalling,” said Malaysian coach Mohd Nasihin Nubli Ibrahim.
“It is good to book our spot with a match to play but we will not take things for granted against Sri Lanka though I might give some fringe players a starting eleven chance.”
It took Malaysia only three minutes to be on the scoreboard through a penalty cornerr as skipper Nadia Abdul Rahman sent a delightful scoop over the keeper Natalya Gataulina to send the crowd into sheer delight.
That set the tone for the first half as Fazilla Slyvester Silin added the second, also a via a penalty corner in the 6th minute.
Siti Rahmah Othman, who scored a hattrick against Singapore the previous day, made it 3-0 in the 15th minute and the shoulders of the Kazakhstan players dropped, knowing that they were in for a hard night.
Nadia scored her second and Malaysia’s fourth in the next minute before goals from Fatin Naimah Zaki (18th minute) and Siti Noor Amarina Ruhaini (22nd minute) gave Malaysia a 6-0 halftime lead.
It took Malaysia only two minutes upon resumption to increase their tally, this time through Rabiatul Adawiyah.
With strong support from the terraces and Malaysian Hockey Confederation President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah urging the team on, Malaysia kept on pressing and were rewarded with two more goals via Norazlin Sumantri (44th minute) and Nur Hidayah Bokhari (49th minute).
Kazakhstan reduced the deficit in the 59th minute through Gulnara Imangaliyeva. But that was as far as they got as Malaysia added goals through Norazlin (64th minute) and Raja Norsharina Raja Shahbuddin ( 65th minute) for a 11-1 win.