Saturday, May 14, 2011

Malaysia whitewash Austria 7-0!

THE Malaysian women's hockey team whitewashed hosts Austria 7-0 in the Fifth-Eighth Classification match in the Champions Challenge II yesterday.
They will play Russia, who they held to a 2-2 draw in a Group B match, in the Fifth-Sixth Classicfication match today.
In the last Champions Challenge II, Malaysia finished seventh out of eight teams.
Yesterday, the Malaysian goals were scored by Nor Hidayah Ahmad (14th), Nadia Abdul Rahman (23rd), Noor Hasliza Ali (35th, 36th), Juliani Din (46th), Siti Shahidah Saad (69th).
It was Malaysia's first win in five matches.
RESULTS -- Fifth-Eigtht Classification: Russia 3 Canada 2, Malaysia 7 Austria 0.
Today: Fifth-Sixth -- Russia v Malaysia.

Unpredictable to the hilt

THE Malaysian hockey team never ceases to amaze its fans, and their speciality is to produce results when one least expects them to.
The 20th Edition of the Azlan Shah Cup is a classic example of how erratic the team can be.
At the Asian Games, they were never expected to reach the final, but proved everyone wrong. But after fighting like wounded tigers in the previous matches, they bowed out in the final against Pakistan like domesticated cats.
"There has been many ups and downs in this tournament probably because we lost three key defenders to injuries and I had to reshuffle some positions.
"However, I believe the team's true strength was displayed when they played against South Korea. My players are capable of playing even better than this, and that is what we need to bring out of them when we play in the Olympic Qualifiers," said Malaysian coach Tai Beng Hai.
There was a show of free flow hockey, with Malaysia displaying that they can score with ease off almost flawless counter-attacks.
"That (counter-attacks) is the strength of this young side, as we have fast forwards. However, in this tournament, they have been playing inconsistently in some of the matches.
"And if you only play good hockey for 35 minutes, you will surely be punished by this world class field," said Beng Hai.
Malaysia meet Pakistan today, who are equally as erratic as Malaysia, and the match could swing either way.
However, if South Korea beat Great Britian in the earlier match, even if Maaysia beat Pakistan by a dozen goals, they will still end up last and rest on Sunday while the other six teams either play for medals, or for positions in the classification matches.

Peeved with poor umpiring

A WORLD class tournament, but with B Grade umpires is what five out of the seven coaches at the Azlan Shah Cup are peeved about.
India, Pakistan, South Korea Australia and a polite Malaysian coach have all lamented how their team was penalised because of poor decisions taken by the umpires.
South Korean coach Shin Seok Kyo, Australian coach Ric Charlesworth, India coach Harendra Singh and Pakistan coach Khawaja Junaid have never been so vocal on umpires in previous tournaments.
"It is a shame that world class teams, four of whom have qualified for the Olympics, are playing in the Azlan Shah Cup but poor quality umpires have been selected to officiate.
"Teams have spent much time and money to prepare sides, and many poorly executed decisions have led to defeats and many other problems on the field," said Harendra.
Ric, normally reserved about the umpires, was also in his element when he said: "I had praised the umpires earlier, but feel otherwise now. They seem to have their own interpretations on hockey rules and its a shame."
The Australian guided his side to the World Cup, Champions Trophy and Commonwealth Games gold medals and is normally reserved about commenting on the umpires.
As for Malaysian coach Tai Beng Hai, he was poilte on his assessment.
"I don't like to comment about the umpires, but you can see for yourself how matches are being handled by them."
The Azlan Shah Cup is a world class tournament, and the coaches are hoping that in the next edition, the International Hockey Federation will not use it to experiment with their coaching set-up.

Malaysian women lose narrowly

THE Malaysian women's hockey team lost 2-1 to Italy in the quarter-finals of the Champions Challenge II in Vienna, Austria yesterday.
It was a close call, as the Italians only managed to score off Alessia Padalino in the 32nd minute. Alessia again scored in the 54th minute, but Fazilla Sylvester Silin pulled one back in the 64th minute.
Time ran out on the Malaysian side, and now they will play in the fifth-eighth classification match agaist hosts Austria.
RESULTS -- Q-finals: Malaysia 1 Italy 2, Belarus 4 Austria 1, Chile 3 Russia 2, Belgium 1 Canada 0.
TODAY: Classification Fifth-Eighth -- Russia v Canada, Malaysia v Austria.
TOMORROW: Semi-finals -- Chile v Belgium, Italy v Belarus.