THE Malaysian hockey team left for Invercargill, New Zealand last night on a journey which is paved with more misery than joy.
For starters, their opening match against Austria on Nov 7 will depend on how many penalty corners they give away, and then how they defend it against Austrian top flicker Michael Korper.
Korper was a thorn in Malaysia’s flesh in the June Champions Challenge II in Ireland.
For those who have forgotten, Malaysia could only beat Austria 3-2. The Malaysian goals were scored by Kelvinder Singh, and two from Amin Rahim.
Korper scored both the goals for Austria off penalty corners.
And the fact that Malaysia gave away an average of nine penalty corners to Australia in the Five-Test series is itself a big worry for their fans.
In Ireland, Malaysia played Austria in the opening match, and it will be encore in Invercargill, only the score remains a mystery.
FIXTURES: Nov 7 -- Malaysia v Austria; Nov 8: Malaysia v Wales; Nov 10: Malaysia v New Zealand; Nov 12: Malaysia v Scotland; Nov 14: Malaysia v China.