Malaysia go into the match against China today knowing very well that anything short of a win will derail their chances of progressing to the final of the 2nd edition of the AHF Champions Trophy Tournament being held in Doha.
After two wins, with identical 4-1 scorelines against Japan and Oman, Malaysia were held to a 3-3 draw by Pakistan, despite taking the lead twice in the match.
Several questions were posed to coach Paul Revington after the Pakistan match and this blog appreciates the effort taken by Revs to answer them via email.
Malaysian Hockey : We had domination of the game against Pakistan yet let them get away with a point. What went wrong?
Revs: I think we controlled the game without being completely "dominant". Both teams had their "up" phases and I think used those "up" phases well.
Malaysian Hockey: Pakistan opted to play robust hockey thus disrupting our players focus. This is a tactic often used by experienced players against inexperienced ones. Though in long term this can be overcome, your immediate thoughts on this?
Revs: I would agree that experienced sides play robust hockey - however I think it is more of a sign that Pakistan respect our quality and will try and do anything to stop Malaysia from rising. They have realized we have a good group of players across senior and junior teams and are doing what every proud Team/Country would do to protect their turf - fight!
Malaysian Hockey: We are almost assured of the top four finish, but how would you rate China, who defeated Japan and gave Pakistan a tough time as well?
Revs: China are always a tough opponent and will therefore always be respected
Malaysian Hockey: In a nutshell, how would you rate the match against Pakistan?
Revs: Very pleased with the growth of this Team so quickly (with 8 additions) and the overall performance across 70 minutes.