Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Looking for an Irish cheer!

MALAYSIA last played Ireland in the Champions Challenge in Kuantan last year, and the hosts snapped up the bronze medal with a convincing 4-2 score.
  But the Irish did deny Malaysia a spot in the London Olympics, when they held us to a 1-1 draw at the Dublin Qualifier on St Patrick's day.
  This scribe was there to watch both the matches, one played during a massive parade in chilly Dublin, the other played under sunny conditions and sea breeze in Kuantan.
  In Dublin, Ireland went on to play in the final against South Korea, and the Asian giants beat them to the Olympics.
  Malaysia play Ireland on the 25th, 8pm, and the only route for coach Tai Beng Hai and his men is a win or it will be bust all the way in the next two matches.
  Ireland, ranked 14th, are two rungs below Malaysia: "Rankings do not matter in this tournament as every team is chasing for a spot in the Olympics and playing on a different level than what they are capable of normally," said Malaysian coach Beng Hai.
  China were a classic example, as even though ranked 31st and 19 below Malaysia they played gallantly and only lost 2-3.
  The matches here have been close, as even Pakistan could only beat Poland 2-1, while India scraped past France 3-2.
  Belgium and Britain played to a 2-2 draw, while the only match that went to rankings was when Australia thrashed France 10-0.
  On Monday, the Malaysian team were given a free day, and they went around in groups sightseeing and shopping in Antwerp to rest their edge nerves, as their next match was only three days away.
  Yesterday, there was some light training and tomorrow will be another rest day for Malaysia before the Ireland do-or-die.