Monday February 25, 2013
Malaysian women no match for the mighty Japanese
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian women’s hockey team were handed a 4-0 thrashing by favourites Japan in the second round of the World League at the Major Dhyanchand National Stadium in New Delhi yesterday.
The defeat spells the end of the national team’s quest for a place in the semi-finals of the World League, which will be played in June or July.
Malaysia finished third in the six-team competition with nine points from three wins and two defeats.
Ninth-ranked Japan and hosts India finished in the top two to qualify for the semi-finals.
Japan went on the offensive right from the word go, scoring their goals through Ayaka Nishimura (31st), Aki Mitsuhashi (45th), Akiko Kato (51st) and Aya Ueda (55th).
The national forwards, meanwhile, were a huge letdown as they hardly had an attempt the whole match.
National coach Mohd Nasihin Nubli admitted that Japan were just too good for them.
“They dominated the entire match and we just defended in numbers. I’m disappointed with my forwards as they failed to create any chances,” he said in a telephone interview.
“The strikers couldn’t hold the ball properly either. The first goal should have been disallowed as the ball had hit a Japanese player’s foot before it was scored.
“I’d like to single out goalkeeper Ayuni (Farah Yahya) for praise for making a number of superb saves.
“Although we failed to qualify for the semi-finals, I’m pleased with the team’s overall performance.
“We finished a creditable third by upsetting 20th ranked Russia (3-1). We did well to score 18 goals, while conceding nine.”
KAZAKHSTAN 4 FIJI 0
JAPAN 4 MALAYSIA 0
RUSSIA 0 INDIA 1