Monday, October 21, 2013

Dharma's boys close India gap..

MALAYSIAN juniors improved yet again in the second test against India, when they lost 4-3 at the Dhyan Chand Stadium in New Delhi on Sunday night.
    The first test saw then go down 4-2, and coach K. Dharmaraj’s boys lost out on penalty corner defending in the second test.
    Malaysia are in New Delhi to not only get a feel of the World Cup venue, from Dec 6-15, but also spar against their possible quarter-finals opponent.
    India, the Sultan of Johor Cup champions after they beat Malaysia 3-0 at the Taman Daya Stadium, are in the cross-over group for Malaysia in the World Cup.
   The other teams which Malaysia might meet in the last eight are The Netherlands, South Korea and Canada -- who make up Group C.
    Malaysia are in Group D with England, New Zealand and South Africa.
    “There was more improvement in our side, but two matters are still a bother. One is penalty corner defending, as India scored two, while the second is to sharpen the forwards finishing.
    “And we are looking to tighten the two areas in our last test today,” said Dharmaraj.
     Malaysia had five penalty corners and scored two, while India only had three and converted two.
    Meor Azuan scored a field goal in the 19th minute, while
Zulhairi Hashim scored off penalty corner flicks in the 23rd and 61st minutes.
   The India goals were scored by Affan Yousuf (35th), Gurjinder Singh (40th), Sukhmanjit Singh (47th) and Mandeep Singh (49th).
     Malaysia took a 2-0 lead, but gave India the break just as the half-time hooter blew: “In the 31st min Syamin Yusof received a green card and India took the imbalance opportunity to narrow the gap. It resulted from a miss-trap by Shazril Irwan at the top of the semi-circle, and Affan Yousuf collected the ball and coolly slotted home.
    “That is the kind of play which we cant’ afford in the World Cup, and I will drill it into my players mind,” said Dharmaraj.
    And a case of blunt strikes was Syamin Yusof, who had a chance to level the score in 68th mins with only the India goalkeeper to beat but yet again, he shot wide.