Rain fails to dampen Malaysia’s spirit

By Anne Das 

Match No 9, South Africa versus Malaysia, was postponed on Nov 4 after 14 minutes due to heavy rain, with South Africa leading 1 to 0. However, on resuming the match, Malaysia turned the tide with a 7 to 2 victory.

It all boils down to the match against Japan today in Malaysia’s last Group match, where they need only a draw to secure a place in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup final but national A. Arul Selvaraj says his players will not be pulling the brakes.

“Our team is known for the fire and drive in them. This is exactly what has gotten us the desired results in the last two matches,” said Arul after the 7-2 routing of South Africa.

“Yes, our target first against South Africa was to get a two-goal win, but the players never stopped working and got this great win.

“But we need to manage ourselves better in the final quarter and we hope to do that against Japan.

“We have had good results against Japan in the past, but that is all in the past. We must take this as a new game and play our normal fast paced game with everyone working hard.”

On tonight’s match, Arul said it was difficult having to stop and play again for more than an hour, but the players did not let that affect them although warming up to be in top form again is a challenge.

South Africa resumed the match from their half but Malaysia immediately pressed to threaten their opponents on three occasions in the remaining 1 minute and 41 seconds on the clock.

South Africa was leading with a 12th minute field goal scored by Cameron Yves Norman le Froster on Friday when the game was halted and later postponed to today.

Malaysia equalised in the 18th minute when Muhammad Razie Abdul Rahim converted off a penalty corner.

Then on, they went into overdrive to get goals from Razie off a penalty flick (20th min), and field goals by Nik Muhammad Aiman Nik Rozemi (23th) and  Azrai Aizad Abu Kamal (24th), for halftime score of a comfortable 4-1 lead.

The rain stopped after 40 minutes and work to drain out the water from the pitch with rakes began.

Both teams came back on the pitch after the scheduled start and began their warm-up for ten minutes before the second half, after a one hour twenty minutes forced breather at halftime.

It was South Africa who were the aggressors and successfully reduced the deficit with a penalty corner goal off Connor Beauchamp in the 35th minute.

But Malaysia, jolted by the goal, responded with Sabahan Shello Silverius scoring four minutes later for the fourth goal in the tournament, to emerge the top scorer to date.

Captain Najmi Jazlan put Malaysia further in a comfortable zone when he scored off a penalty corner in the 43rd minute to lead 6-2.

Goalkeeper Muhammad  Hafizzudin Othman who has been playing a key role to prevent South Africa from scoring, had to be replaced in the 43rd minute after he was injured in a goal mouth melee for Mohd Zaimi Mat Derus.

Razie capped a fine outing with a penalty corner in the 51st minute to complete Malaysia’s rout for goal number seven.

South Africa’s coach Garreth Ewing said his team played poorly. Malaysia on the other hand did well and were clinical in their penalty corners.


Technical delegate Mohammed Muneer (fourth from left)and tournament director Brian Fernandez supervising the raking out of water

A moment of silence

A 30 second moment of silence was observed before the resumption of South Africa and Malaysia as a mark of respect to the 14-year-old Bill Wolfson Lianie from Sarawak who passed away this morning in Ipoh.

Bill was undergoing a goalkeeper clinic under the National Hockey Development programme (NHDP) conducted by national goalkeeper coach S. Kumar, held at the NHDP Academy Hockey Raja Ashman Shah, Ipoh from Nov 5-6 Nov, in conjunction with the ongoing Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2022 Men’s International Hockey tournament.

He was accompanied to the clinic by chief youth coach for Sarawak , Wilina Mac Carina Wilson.

Bill a student of SMK Penrissen Kuching Sarawak and under the NHDP district programme in Sarawak, was said to have had a seizure attack in the morning and was brought to Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun, Ipoh, but efforts to revive him failed and he was pronounced dead.

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