MALAYSIA hit 50th ranked Taiwan 10-2 in their opening Asia Cup encounter at the
Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh yesterday.
The win was expected, but not the two easy goals which they let in, and now Paul
Revington's men must prove their worth against Pakistan today to cement their
intention of making waves in the Asian region.
Malaysian players, as well as coaching staff, wore a blue jersey with number 3, and
the name Chua printed at the back during the 30 minutes warm-up before the Taiwan
This was in appreciation to the 337 capped Chua Boon Huat, a Malaysian record,
who died in a car accident recently, and a one-minute silence was held in his memory.
But the start of the match was not rosy, as Taiwan's No 3 Liu Ching Kun drove a
sizzler off their first attack in the fourth minute to beat goalkeeper S. Kumar for their
first recent international goal against Malaysia.
For the record, Malaysia hammered Taiwan 17-0 in the Intercontinental Cup in Ipoh
in 1988, and 9-0 in the 2006 Doha Asian Games.
But there was never a doubt that Malaysia would win the match, and Faizal Saari
started the goal-count with a low penalty corner flick in the 10th minute and then
scored the second in the 12th.
The other goals were scored by Firhan Ashaari (18th, 19th, 67th), Marhan Jalil
(32nd), Izwan Firdaus (40th), Nabil Fiqri (45th), Fitri Saari (62nd).
Faizal started the rout, and then nailed the 10th goal in the 69th minute.
The second Taiwan goal was scored by Hsien-Yi Tseng in the 46th minute.
Pakistan's seasoned player Shakeel Abbasi, who played for Maybank in the
Malaysia Hockey League, feels that very little separates Malaysia and his side.
"It will be a tough game as this is our third meeting in one month (4-4 draw and
Malaysian win 3-1), and all the players know each other very well. I believe the match
outcome will be decided by flashes or brilliance by an individual from either side.
"However, my team played very well against Japan today, and I hope to carry forward
the momentum 24 hours from now," said Shakeel.
Meanwhile, India and Pakistan signalled their intention of claiming the Asia Cup gold
when they too went on a whipping spree.
India demolished Oman 8-0 in Group B, while Pakistan hit Japan 7-0 in Group A.
The India goals were scored by Mandeep Singh (fourth, 40th, 44th), Ramandeep Singh
(17th), V. Raghunath (28th), Rupinder Pal Singh (34th), Malak Singh (47th) and S.
And the Pakistan goals were hammered in by Muhammad Waqas (12th, 20th), Haseem
Khan (22nd), Muhammad Tausiq (25th, 35th), Muhammad Imran (33rd, 70th).
P W D L F A Pts
MALAYSIA 1 1 0 0 10 2 3
PAKISTAN 1 1 0 0 7 0 3
JAPAN 1 0 0 1 0 7 0
TAIWAN 1 0 0 1 2 10 0
P W D L F A Pts
INDIA 1 1 0 0 8 0 3
S KOREA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
B'DESH 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
OMAN 1 0 0 1 0 8 0
RESULTS -- India 8 Oman 0, Pakistan 7 Japan 0, Malaysia 10 Taiwan 2.
FIXTURES -- Sunday: South Korea v Bangladesh (4pm), Japan v Taiwan (6pm),
Pakistan v Malaysia (8pm).