MALAYSIA whipped Sri Lanka 14-0 to top Group B and qualify for the semi-finals of the Asian Hockey Federation Under-18 Cup in Singapore yesterday.
The national players will now meet Singapore in the semis, while South Korea will play Pakistan in the other last four match,
Malaysia, who drew 2-2 with South Korea, ended tied on seven points but topped the table on a better goals average after the Sri Lanka show.
Under-18 coach K. Gobinathan is not worried about the opposition, as much as his own players.
“I am not worried with who I will be playing in the semi- finals, but worried about my own players performance.
“I did not get much time to train this team, as I picked and snatched the players right after the semi-finals of the National Under-21 and took them to Singapore to play,” said Gobinathan, a former international.
Gobi is worried that his charges had too much of hockey and could feel the effects in the semis.
“Pakistan and Korea are a class above the rest here, but I am afraid that my players might hit a bad patch at the wrong time. That is why we can’t even take Singapore lightly in the semis.”
Malaysia lost to Pakistan 4-3 in the last AHF Cup in Myanmar and are highly touted to reach the final, and so are Pakistan. The semi-finals are tomorrow.
Meanwhile, The International Hockey Federation (FIH) released the groupings for the Champions Challenge 1 in South Africa on Nov 26 to Dec 4.
Malaysia are in Group B with Canada, Argentina and Japan.
In Group A are New Zealand, South Africa, Belgium and Poland.