NOTE: Malaysia won the fourth friendly 6-3.
THE Malaysian juniors hockey team beat Egypt 3-2 in an unfriendly friendly which was saw more pushing and
shoving, than hockey, at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jallil yesterday.
Egypt are down for a four-match friendly, and Malaysian juniors won the first match 2-0, and drew the second 3-3.
The fourth friendly will be played today.
Yesterday, the umpires had to stop many situations which could have turned into free-for-all, as the Egyptians
play a robust style of hockey.
All three Malaysian goals came off penalty corners as Zulhairi Hashim scored a brace while Shahril Saabah scored
the winner. The juniors were blunt in field attempts, as they could not convert the numerous sitters that came their
Egypt are in Group A of the World Cup, where they have Belgium, Germany and Pakistan for company.
Malaysia are in a relatively easier group with England, New Zealand and South Africa for company in Group D, and
if they advance to the quatrer-finals, their opponets are likely to be either Netherlands or hosts India from Group C,
which also has Canada and South Korea.
"The Egypt friendlies are being use to test 11 fringe players who are fighting for three more spots in the World Cup
squad. I am giving less time to the 15 other regulars, as I try and find the final three to make the squad," said
Malaysian coach K. Dharmaraj.
Dharmaraj also said yesterday's friendly got off on the wrong foot.
"The earlier two matches were good hockey, but there were too many dangerous tackles in today's matches and
Iwill not risk my core players against Egypt in the last friendly," said Dharmaraj.
The national juniors will play two matches with the seniors after this, and have lined up three more matches with
Germany, Australia and France in New Delhi before they take New Zealand on Dec 6 followed by matches against
South Africa (Dec 8) and England ( Dec 9).