PROJECT 2013 beat the Singapore national senior team 2- 1 in a friendly at the Kuala Lumpur HA Stadium yesterday.
The Malaysian boys let in a second minute penalty stroke, but fought back in the last five minutes of the first half to score the equaliser off a penalty corner and then the winner off a field attempt.
Malaysia also had the upper hand in the second half, but muffed four penalty corners and let off the Singapore side lightly. Both teams will square off again today morning.
Singapore are preparing for the Asian Games in China, and they are in the same group as Malaysia, South Korea, China and Oman.
In Group B are Pakistan, India, Japan, Hong Kong and Bangladesh.
Singapore coach Spaniard Juanma Mas said his players lost out two months of training: “The Singapore Olympic Council only told us a few months back that we can play in the Asian Games and so we lost a couple of months of training time.”
However, he sees improvement in his charges: “I believe my players are better than what they displayed today (yesterday) and should be a better side when we play in the Asian Games.”
Malaysian coach K. Dharmaraj fielded more than 30 players yesterday, as we was looking for the best to play in India next month.
“The two matches against Singapore and then against New Zealand (Wednesday) is actually a selection for two tour naments in India.
“We will be playing in an Under-21 tournament in Punjab, and then the Surjit Singh Memorial after the Commonwealth Games. That is why I tried out the entire training pool against Singapore and it will be the same in the return match tomorrow (today),” said Dharmaraj.
The coach will field his best against the Kiwis, who will first play two matches against the Malaysian national side on Monday and Tuesday.
After the three matches, Malaysia and New Zealand will head to New Delhi to play in the Commonwealth Games from Oct 4-14.
Malaysia are in Group A with Australia, India, Pakistan and Scotland. While in Group B are New Zealand, Canada, England, Trinidad & Tobago and South Africa.