Friday, November 23, 2018

Malaysia aim to surprise Germans

KUALA LUMPUR: Germany finished sixth in the last World Cup, while Malaysia ended last in the 12-team tournament at the Hague in Netherlands. 
 And the last time both the teams met was in 2013 in the quarter-finals of the World League Semifinals — and Malaysia were thrashed 6-0.
  They will face off again in Group D of the World Cup in Bhubaneswar on Nov 28-Dec 16, and Malaysian coach Roelant Oltmans will have his hands full trying to keep a German invasion at bay.
"Germany are one of the most successful hockey teams and we can surely expect a tough encounter. But there is always an element of surprise, and we will not give up without a fight," said Oltmans.
Germany have won the Olympics four times (including once as West Germany), the World Cup twice, the EuroHockey Championship eight times (including twice as West Germany) and the Champions Trophy nine times (including three times as West Germany).
"There is a good mix of experience and youth in the German side. They have retained many players from the 2016 Rio Olympics and have a good attacking as well as defending side."
In Rio, the Germans won bronze, while Malaysia failed to qualify for the Olympics.
Florian Fuchs and Christopher Ruhr are world class attackers while rising star Timm Herzbruch is only 21, but has already played in the Olympics.
As far as international records go, it was way back in 1964 when Malaysia stole a point from the Germans in a 0-0 draw at the Tokyo Olympics. And at the last Olympics which Malaysia qualified for, Sydney 2000, Germany could only win 1-0.