Monday, April 2, 2012

Malaysian women to the fore..

THE Malaysian Women’s hockey team have set their sights on a final appearance in the Olympic Qualifiers in Kakami gahara, Japan on April 25-May 5.
And the target is not too far fetched, as only Japan is the main threat while Malaysia’s record is close against Austria, Chile, Azerbaijan and Belarus.
Only the champions will advance to the London Olympics.
“Our target is to play in the final, and it is not far fetched as we have a good record against four of the teams while Japan is also not unbeatable,” said Malaysian Hockey Confed eration (MHC) senior vice president S. Shamala.
In the Asian Games, Malaysia lost 4-2 to Japan: “But the score does not reflect the true story, as we were down 0-2 but fought back to equalise at 2-2, before losing out on ex perience in the last nine minutes of the match.”
Malaysia will open accounts against Azerbaijan on April 25, a team which they last beat 1-0 in a Four-Nation in 2008.
Then is is against Japan on April 27, followed by Belarus on the 29th, Chile on May 1 and Austria on May 3.
“We last played Chile in the 2010 World Cup Qualifier and only lost 1-0, while in the Champions Challenge II, we whipped Austria 7-0.
“The only other team which we should be wary of is Belarus, who have many naturalised Korean players and we have never played them,” said Shamala.
The team will leave on April 16 to South Korea for four friendlies: “Two will be against the Korean national side while two more matches will be against a premier club.
“That will be the final preparation before we head for Japan on April 21,” said Shamala.
For the record, the Malaysian women’s team has never played in the Olympics.