MALAYSIA were very consistent, as they lost their fifth straight match in the World Cup by going down 5-2 to Spain at the Hague, Netherlands yesterday.
Now, they will play in the 11th-12th classification match, as Spain play in the seventh-eight, while India in the ninth-10th bracket.
Malaysia did not look like they were playing to win, as the defenders kept giving away penalty corners by making silly mistakes in the semi-circle.
A total of six penalty corners were handed to the Spanish in the first half, and in the 13th minute, Gabrial Dabanch finally perfected for the lead.
Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin was then handed a sitter, which he cooly slotted in the equaliser in the 24th minute, but there was no drive to take the lead after the goal.
Instead, Spain took a 2-1 lead into the breather when Marc Salles’ powerful drive beat goalkeeper S. Kumar in the 33rd minute.
And just after the re-start, Spain won their seventh penalty corner and Santi Freixa nailed the third goal with a high drive in the 37th minute.
Dabanch then snatched his brace in the 46th minute to hand Spain a sure victory, as Fitri Sari scored off a penalty stroke in the 51st, but Sergi Enrique made it 5-2 in the 68th minute.
Monday, June 9, 2014
BY FIH (interview just before the Spain match)
Faizal Saari is approaching 150 caps for Malaysia. During that time he has earned a reputation as a supremely skilful attacker who regularly gets his name on the score-sheet. The 23-year-old has a potent penalty corner drag-flick, although he has yet to get his name on the score-sheet at this World Cup.
This is Faizal's first World Cup: Malaysia last competed in the World Cup in 2002 when it was held on home soil in Kuala Lumpar. On that occasion they finished eighth. This time around, the Speedy Tigers qualified by finishing in fifth place at the Hockey World League Semi-Final in Joho Bahru. The team is likely to be competing for 11th/12th place following three four losses so far in the competition: 4-0 against Australia; 6-2 against Belgium; 2-0 England; and a closely-fought 3-2 against India.
We caught up with Faizal before the team played their fifth pool match against Spain, a match that Malaysia need to win to avoid finishing bottom of the group. The Malaysian sports star was in a talkative, enthusiastic mood, despite the lack of points on the board.Question: What are your impressions so far of this Hockey World Cup?
FS: It is brilliant, the environment all around the stadium and the hockey park is great and the daily telecast, covering all the action, has been awesome.Question: What have been your best moments of the World Cup?
FS: Celebrating the goals scored by my team-mates have provided the best moments so far. Of course I want to get on the score-sheet but I am so happy for Razie (Abd Rahim) and Marhan Jalil.Question: What do you think you and your team are learning as a result of this Hockey World Cup experience?
FS: Malaysia has not participated in a World Cup for such a long time that each match is providing a heap of learning experiences. I think the thing that is most apparent is that there is no such thing as an easy game in this tournament. Even the top-ranked teams are finding that the lower-ranked teams are no pushover. Each team is well-prepared and ready to fight for every point.Question: Which teams have impressed you and why?
FS: Australia and the Netherlands are by far the most impressive teams here. I think the thing that sets them apart is their ability to maintain a high tempo for the full 70 minutes. Even when the seconds are counting down to the end of the match, and they have a good lead, they still chase every ball and are always looking for ways to create scoring opportunities.Question: How is hockey viewed in Malaysia?
FS: Hockey is a popular sport in the country and we are expected to produce results every time we play. This can be stressful, but we are privileged to represent our country and it is a responsibility I am glad to shoulder.Question: What do Malaysia need to do to make the next step up in international hockey?
FS: We need to continue to qualify and participate in major tournaments such as this, if not we will be left behind.