Friday, March 9, 2007

Badly written script


MALAYSIA ...... 1

PERHAPS it was opening day jitters but there can be no excuses as the
young Malaysian side struggled against New Zealand in their Sultan Azlan
Shah Cup match at the National Hockey Stadium yesterday.
Even during training matches the Malaysian side displayed better
understanding and commitment, unlike yesterday when they relied heavily on
captain Mirnawan Nawawi.
Not even the thundering beat of the Fan Club's kompang could awaken a
jaded-looking national team. Instead, it was New Zealand who danced to the
beat of the kompang, taking full advantage of the opportunities that came
their way.
Malaysia simply could not get moving, even when New Zealand were down to
nine men by the 15th minute.
New Zealand do not have a hockey team as such, but they had 11 players
who played consistently.
Malaysia could have taken the lead in the fifth minute when Chairil
Anwar found Mirnawan unmarked in the semicircle. The captain dribbled past
three players but could only win a penalty corner.
S. Kuhan took the penalty corner hit and missed by centimetres.
After that, there was no urgency in the Malaysian team and they were
New Zealand won their first penalty corner in the sixth minute but Nor
Azlan Bakar was there to stop a stinging shot only to give away another.
New Zealand took another direct shot which Nasihin Nubli saved.
Malaysia mounted a counter attack and K. Keevan Raj found Mirnawan who
only had goalkeeper Scott Anderson to beat from a narrow angle. Instead of
passing to M. Kaliswaran on the right, Mirnawan took a shot and missed.
Bevan Hari put New Zealand in the lead in the 12th minute, tapping in an
easy goal off a penalty corner.
New Zealand were down two men when Umesh Parag and Simon Towns were sent
off for rough play. But Malaysia chose not to press the advantage and
instead New Zealand pushed ahead with a goal in the dying seconds of the
first half.
Bradley Apted did not have to do much. He was at the right place at the
right time, collecting a bad clearance from defender Chua Boon Huat to tap
in the second goal.
After the breather, Malaysia still looked like they were in a trance and
allowed New Zealand to run rings around them.
The 250-strong kompang group went silent in the second half but the beat
resumed in the 48th minute when Malaysia were awarded a penalty corner by
umpire T. Fujimura for a stick check on Shaiful Azli.
S. Kuhan flicked from the spot to inject some hope.
But the joy was shortlived as Hari had the Malaysian defenders trailing
and hammered home his second and New Zealand's third goal in the 53rd
No thanks to Chua, New Zealand won a penalty corner in the 56th minute
and Ryan Archibald sounded the board to make it 4-1.
MALAYSIA: Nasihin Nubli, Roslan Jamaluddin, Maninderjit Singh, Jiwa
Mohan, Chua Boon Huat, S. Kuhan, Nor Azlan Bakar, Chairil Anwar, Indra
Hadi, Chairil Anwar, Indra Hadi, Madzli Ikmar, Suhaimi Ibrahim, K.
Kaliswaran, K. Keevan Raj, Mirnawan Nawawi, K. Logan Raj, Shaiful Azli,
Nasihin Nubli.
NEW ZEALAND: Simon Towns, Bradly Apted, Andrew Buckley, Darren Smith,
Wayne McIndoe, Andrew Hastie, John Radovonich, Dion Gosling, Brett Leaver,
Ryan Archibald, Umesh Parag, Greg Russ, Craig Russ, Bevan Hari, Scott
Anderson, Michael Bevin.
Umpires: T. Fujimura, Sumesh Putra. OTHER RESULTS
PAKISTAN ....... 6 CANADA ....... 3
GERMANY ........ 4 S KOREA ...... 3