Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Lets do the Argentine...

MALAYSIA are ready for their first win in the World Cup, when they face England at the Hague, Netherlands today.
   Coach K. Dharmaraj's men have paid their dues, when they lost 4-0 to World No 1 Australia and then 6-2 to World No 5 Belgium.
  England, even though ranked No 4 in the World, have not been impressive at the Hague as they drew 1-1 with no 9 Spain and could only beat world no 10 India 2-1.
   "We are no longer a threat in Group A, and that is the consensus here. Its fine with me and the boys, because we knew from the start that Australia and Belgium would be tough to beat, and our focus is on England, Spain and India.
  "We need to nail our first win tomorrow (today) to set the momentum for the remaining matches," said Dharmaraj.
   England coach Bobby Crutchley complimented India for giving his team a good contest.
   "It was a tough game and I think India played well," said Crutchley, adding that his team was "sloppy in parts of the first half."
   And that slopiness is what Malaysia need to capatalise on today for a win.
  "We have done our homework against England and I have a few surprises in store for them," said Dharmaraj.
   Belgium were also shocked when Razie Rahim did not take direct flicks during penalty corners, but took a step to the left and received a pass from Faizal Saari which confused the runners -- and Razie scored two goals then,
   But Tom Boon was on fire for Belgium, and his four goals killed Malaysia's hopes.
  "Back in defense, the players made some mistakes, but after two matches I am confident they are now better prepared to face their third opponents," said Dharmaraj.
    Argentina showed that world rankings mean nothing, and determination can overcome the best when they beat world no 2 Germany 1-0 in Group B on Tuesday.
   The South American's are ranked 11th in the World, and rewrote the textbook on how to play hockey when they beat the mighty Germans.
   German skipper Maximillan Muller also has sound advise for Malaysia when he lamented the Argentina defeat: "The players only gave 87 per cent against Australia, we can't win if we do not give 100 per cent in every match."
   The Argentina skipper Lucas Ray's advise is also applicable for Malaysia: "We learnt from our first match against the Netherlands (Dutch won 3-1) on what to do in our next match (against Germany).
   Malaysia should take a leaf from the Argentine book, as England must be beaten at all cost today.
  MALAYSIA’S World Cup Fixtures (Malaysian time) -- June   5: v England (7pm); June 7: v India (8.30pm); June 9: v Spain  (8.30pm).