KUALA LUMPUR: Both the Malaysian men's and women's hockey 5s teams qualified for the semi-finals of the Asian Youth Olympics Qualifier at the Queen Sirikit Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
The men beat Pakistan 12-1 and Singapore 7-1 yesterday to top Group B and will square off with South Korea in the last four Saturday.
And the women beat Japan 4-3, and their semifinal opponents are India.
The finalists in Bangkok will qualify for the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aries on Oct 6-18.
While the men were expected to reach the semifinals, the women were a revelation, as they proved themselves beyond their capabilities.
Coach Yahya Atan's angels were 0-2 down, but fought tooth-and-nail to edge Japan. The Malaysian goals were scored by Nor Asfarina Isahyifiqa, Siti Zulaika Hussin (two) and Elizaberth Epui Martin.
Yahya himself was amazed with the fighting spirit of his charges, who never gave up until the final whistle.
"I'm happy beyond words as my team played their hearts out to finish second in the group and qualify for the semi-finals. They showed great commitment and dedication to beat Japan, and seek glory for the nation and their family members," said Yahya.
On India as their semi-finals hurdle: "We are just a step away from the final and I believe if the girls play like they did against Japan and follow my strategy, it will be another wonderful experience for them."
The men's skipper Amirul Hamizan said: "I would like to thank my team mates who gave full commitment in all four group matches and will urge them to give their best again in the remaining two (knock-out) matches."
RSULTS: Men -- Malaysia 12 Pakistan 1, Malaysia 7 Singapore 1.
Women: Malaysia 4 Japan 3.