GOALKEEPER S. Kumar holds the key to open the Asia Cup semi-finals door at the
Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh today.
But going by form, Kumar might just shut the door on Malaysia and open it wide for
Voted as the best goalkeeper in Asia in 2011, Kumar and his main defenders Razie
Rahim and Baljit Singh have been guilty of letting in 5 goals in two matches in Ipoh,
and a whopping 18 goals in six matches in the World Legue Semi-finals in Johor Baru.
"Yes five goals in two matches do look a bit too many, but I'm still focussed on the
task at hand, which is to win the Asia Cup gold medal.
"And I will give my best against Japan tomorrow (today) to achieve that target," said
Taiwan scored off their first shot at goal aginst Kumar, while Pakistan's shots were
not that dangerous, but the ball still slipped past the defenders and Kumar.
"We did not impress against Japan (1-1) in the World League, and had to win the
"But I have a feeling that my team-mates are ready to beat Japan and play in the
semi-finals," said Kumar.
Another player who has had a bad run in Johor Baru as well as Ipoh is striker
Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin who started his career as a promising player in the 2005
Junior World Cup in Rotterdam.
But he has been overtaken by much younger strikers in the last tow tournaments.
"I played the feeder's role when playing Taiwan, and against Pakistan, the marking
was too tight as at times five players surrounded me when I got the ball.
"And many times when I ran with the ball, there was not enough Malaysian support
in the semi-circle to turn the attack into goal. Yes, it has been a disappointing
tournament for me, and I hope to deliver against Japan and make it memorable," said
Pakistan are assured of the top spot in Group A as they play whipping side Taiwan
today, and Malaysia need to beat or hold Japan to a draw to secure the second semi-