Thursday, October 7, 2010

Learn from defeats

By S.S. Dhaliwal

NOT being able to utilise their chances is the best way to sum up Malaysia's two performances thus far in the Commonwealth Games as Malaysia went down 1-4 to Pakistan today.
After the defeat against India on Tuesday, much was expected from Malaysia, but the punishing pace of the Indians took their toll as Pakistan turned on the power to score three goals in the second half, after the two teams were tied 1-1 going into the breather.
However the Malaysian team ought to look at these two defeats as a learning process towards the Asian Games as Malaysia could well meet either India or Pakistan in the semi final stage at the Asian Games next month.
And that 70 minutes against either of these two teams will determine if Malaysia will then get within another 70 minutes of a place in the 2012 London Olympics.
Coach Stephen van Huizen was neitther happy with the performance nor with the result as he tries to whip up a decent team, capable of Making Olympics on the merit, as he did in Japan in 1999 where they made the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
"We matched Pakistan in the first 35 minutes but conceded an early goal in the second half and that somewhat eroded the confidence of the players," said Stephen.
"After that Pakistan knew we had to attack to get a positive result and they duly punished us for our mistakes in defence.
"There are several aspects of our game that I am not too happy about and this is something that we must address within the next month to have arealistic chance going into the Asian Games.
"Finishing off chances has been a problem and we need to be sharper in the semi circle. We have two more matches here and the players know that they have to perform as not all are assured of a place in the Asian Games squad."