MALAYSIA justified their top billing by hammering Singapore 16-1 to top Group A in the World League Round Two at the Sengkang Stadium in Singapore yesterday.
Faizal Saari was the toast of the day as he scored six goals to completely blank out the hosts, for the biggest win record against Singapore.
And now, coach Tai Beng Hai's men will play Mexico in the quarter-finals, which should be another walk in the park. Mexico finished last in Group B when they lost all three matches and could only score one goal while they let in 18.
Poland topped Group B and will play Singapore in the quarters, while Japan will meet Ukraine and Oman play Bangladesh in the other quarter-finals.
Team manager Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad said as the top seeds, ranked 13th in the world, the players did well to top the group.
"This is what we expected form the players and they did not disappoint and kept true to their top billing in the tournament.
"We only conceded two goals ( one more against Ukraine) and had good winning scorelines in all three matches, now we will have to do much better in the knock-out stages and claim the ticket to the World League .Semi-finals by playing in the final," said Nur Azmi.
On Malaysia's match against Mexico: "It should be another win for Malaysia, and I believe we are highly likely to play Japan in the semi-finals and that could be the only difficult match but again, we should win it," said Nur Azmi.
Yesterday, Malaysia went for early goals and won two early penalty corners but Razie Rahim flicked wide to the relief of the home fans.
However, in the fifth minute a penalty stroke was won and Faizal Saari calmly slotted in the lead, which opened the floodgates.
Faizal went on to score five more in the 19th, 25th, 31st, 32nd, 51st; the other goals were scored by Firhan Ashaari (13th, 25th), Razie Rahim (24th,2nd ), Haziq Shamsul (37th, 53rd), Marhan Jalil (42nd), Izwan Firdaus (44th) and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (58th, 59th).
The Singapore consolation was scored by Ian Vanderput in the 33rd minute.
Malaysia have the best chance to win gold in Singapore, and advance to the World League Semi-finals on a confident note.
The WL Semi-finals at either Belgium or Argentina offer tickets to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, a platform where Malaysia last played in Sydney 2000.
For the record, Malaysia finished fifth in the last World League semi-finals and qualified for the 2014 World Cup at the Netherlands