MALAYSIA, wearing an all-white outfit, were not clinical but still beat China 5-1 to move closer to the semi-finals of the Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan Friday.
Coach Stephen van Huizen, elated with the three points, agreed that there are areas that need improvement.
"We got the three points, and even though the team has been scoring more from penalty corner rebounds in two matches, I'm happy cos they are still goals.
"I understand that China are a young team, but the pressure was not on them and so they played calmly," said van Huizen.
China coach Song Yi is looking at the next four years to groom his side.
"We played in the national championships two weeks before the ACT and selected a young side because we are looking for results in four years time. The scoreline was big, but my players can play better but did not perform against Malaysia," said Song.
Razie Rahim, the No 1 penalty corner flicker could not execute powerful flicks, but they were on target and Haziq Samsul made the rebounds count.
Haziq scored off penalty corner rebounds in the sixth and 20th minutes, while Fitri Shaari's world class field goal in the 22nd minute gave coach Stephen van Huizen's men some breathing space going into the half-time break.
China pulled one back off Wang Bowen in the 33rd minute, but Shahril Saabah scored off a penalty corner attempt in the 37th minute to take a three-goal lead again.
Goalkeeper S. Kumar played one of his beat game yet, as he pulled off stunning saves to deny China.
Firhan Ashaari made it 5-1 with a penalty corner rebound in the 54th minute.
After a days rest, Malaysia play Japan and a win would ensure their semi-finals slot.
In another match, Pakistan edged South Korea 1-0 with a last minute penalty corner goal scored by Abdul Khan.
RESULTS: Pakistan 1 South Korea 0, Malaysia 5 China 1.
SATURDAY: India v South Korea (6.30pm), China v Japan (8.30pm).
SUNDAY: India v Pakistan (6.30pm), Malaysia v Japan (8.30pm).
P W D L F A Pts
MALAYSIA 2 2 0 0 9 3 6
INDIA 1 1 0 0 10 2 3
PAKISTAN 2 1 0 1 3 4 3
S. KOREA 1 0 0 1 0 1 0
CHINA 1 0 0 1 1 5 0
JAPAN 1 0 0 1 2 10 0