THE Malaysian women beat Kazakstan 3-1 to keep their hopes alive in Round Two of the World Hockey League in New Delhi, India, yesterday.
Malaysia had started the tournament by beating Russia also 3-1, but then went down to favourites India 3-0.
The win yesterday was made possible with goals from Siti Noor Amarina Ruhani (fourth), Norhasikin Halim (27th) and Nor Azlin Sumantri (33rd). The Kazahstan goal was scored by Verain Domashneva the 68th minute.
Today, Nasihin Nubli’s charges play Fiji, where they are almost assured of three points, making the match against Japan on Sunday the decider for Malaysia.
Japan showed their weak side when they had to come from behind to hold Russia 1-1, and narrowly winning the penalty shoot-out 3-2.
The World League is a unique tournament where there must be a winner in every match, and a draw will see a penalty shoot-out coming into place.
India and Japan play today, and if there is an upset of the hosts, then the Malaysia’s chances of becoming one of the two teams to advance to the semi-finals much more brighter.
“Out initial goal was to go for three points by scoring early and then pressing for more goal, but after coring all three in the first half, my players kept on missing sitters,” lamented Nasihin.
He was upset with some of his regulars for being off form, but the bench saved Malaysia in the second half.
“I am upset with few our main players for not playing to the mark but our bench players, especially Norizaidah (Ibrahim) and Fatin (Shafika) played really well to cover them.
“Against Fiji, we need to score as many as possible to be in the right frame of mind before we complete the fixtures against Japan,” said Nasihin.