MALAYSIA hammered the daylights out of Singapore with a convincing 11-0 victory in the World Hockey League match at the Kuantan Hockey Stadium yesterday.
The hosts next play Kazakhstan today, and the formbook favours them as the Kazakhs could only beat Sri Lanka 6-1.
It was an effortless win as Malaysian ran rings around a relatively young Singapore side that had eight players from the Junior Asia Cup squad.
Singapore even fielded 14-year-old Neo Yu Shan in the starting eleven and she gave a good account of herself.
Malaysia made good the penalty corners awarded to them, scoring 8 goals from the 17 that came their way.
“I could not have asked for a better start as the performance was outstanding. Our penalty corners worked and that attributed to half our tally,” said Malaysian coach Nasihin Nubli.
“Now we have to beat Kazakhstan and from what I saw of them today (yesterday), they are a strong physical side and play robust hockey.
“We need to be patient as I expect them to try catch us on the counter which is their strength.”
Malaysia opened scoring in the fifth minute through Siti Rahmah Othman, who went on to noth a hat-trick, while the other goals were scored by A. Kannagi (14th, 53rd), Nor Hidayah Ahmad Bokhari (15th, 35th), Siti Rahmah (24th, 58th), Fazilla Slyvester Silin (47th, 67th), Siti Noor Amarina Ruhaini (61st), Juliani Din (69th).
Meanwhile, Kazakhstan opened their campaign with a convincing 6-1 win over Sri Lanka.
They took a 3-0 lead in the opening eight minutes, but Sri Lanka avoided a double digit humiliation by defending stoutly in the second half.
The Kazakhs were also guilty of squandering, as they were awarded 11 penalty corners, but scored only four.
The Kazakhs next play Malaysia today in a crucial do-or-die battle which will decide the gold medallists.
RESULTS: Sri Lanka 1 Kazakhstan 6, Malaysia 11 Singapore 0.
Today: Singapore v Sri Lanka (4pm), Kazakhstan v Malaysia (6pm).
Sunday: Singapore v Kazakhstan (4pm), Malaysia v Sri Lanka (6pm).