MALAYSIA are just a step away from achieving their target, as only India stand in their path to play in the final of the Sultan of Johor Cup.
Coach K. Dharmaraj’s charges have seven points after four matches, while India and South Korea have six each, so a win will see them play against Australia in the final at the Taman Daya Stadium on Saturday.
South Korea play New Zealand in the earlier match, and if they win, and the Malaysia-India match ends in a draw, the Koreans will sail into the gold medal match.
“We will play to win and do what is needed. There is no point depending on the results of others as it makes one forget the task at hand. We will remained focused at getting a favourable result and take it from there,” said Dharmaraj.
Malaysia started on a bad patch when they lost 2-1 to Australia, but the 1-1 draw against New Zealand is keeping their hopes alive.
The Project 2013 players then beat South Korea 4-2 and Pakistan 2-1, and will be looking to nail another Asian team today.
The Project 2013 squad is being prepared for the Malacca Junior Asia Cup, which is a qualifier for the Junior World Cup, and beating all three Asian teams in Johor will be a boost for them.
Also, they are playing in the Sultan of Johor Cup without two of their best strikers, Faizal Saari, the top scorer in the Malaysia Hockey League with 19 goals, and Firhan Ashaari.
Both the players are in training with the senior team right now in preparation for the Champions Challenge I in South Africa on Nov 26-Dec 4,
India have been erratic in this tournament they bungled big time in their opening match against South Korea where they took a 4-0 lead but went on to lose 6-4.
The Indians then lost 3-2 to Australia, but beat Pakistan 5-1 and New Zealand 2-1 to put the pressure on the hosts.
TODAY: Australia v Pakistan (4pm), New Zealand v South Korea (6pm), India v Malaysia (8pm).
P W D L F A Pts
AUSTRALIA 4 4 0 0 17 7 12
MALAYSIA 4 2 1 1 8 6 7
INDIA 4 2 0 2 13 11 6
S KOREA 4 2 0 2 13 15 6
N ZEALAND 4 1 1 2 4 9 4
PAKISTAN 4 0 0 4 3 10 0