Formidable Malaysia beat spirited Oman 7-1

With three successive victories, Malaysia go into Super 4s as table toppers of Pool B

16 October

Dhaka (Bangladesh), 16 October, 2017: Malaysia notched up a formidable 7-1 win against Oman in their last Pool B match here at the Hero Asia Cup 2017 being held at the Moulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium on Monday. This win ensured Malaysia went into the Super 4s as table toppers in Pool B with three successive victories.

It was supposed to be an easy encounter for Malaysia but the bottom-ranked Oman were spirited in their endeavor to put up a fight. The first quarter belonged to Oman as they created chances in Malaysia’s circle and stood strong against Malaysian counter attack, denying them any goal in the first quarter.

A pep talk by Malaysian Coach Stephen van Huizen during the two-minute break ahead of the second quarter, seemed to make a big difference to his team as they scored as many as five goals in this quarter.  It was dragflick specialist Faizal Saari who scored the first goal in the opening minute of the second quarter when he was perfect in his attempt to find the right bottom of the net. Tengku Tajuddin was quick in his circle entry and impressive with his ball handling skills as he scored in the 18th minute to double the lead to 2-0. Tajuddin scored again in the 23rd minute after Shahril Saabah took the team’s lead to 3-0 in the 20th minute.

Oman found a breakthrough when they won a PC in the 25th minute and Salmeen Al Nofali improvised the injection to fiercely put the ball past experienced Malaysian goalkeeper Kumar Subramiam. Oman’s goal hardly perturbed the Malaysian attack as they scored another field goal via Faizal Saari in the 27th minute to take a 5-1 lead ahead of half-time.

Though Oman found chances to score when they won PCs in the following minutes of the match, they could not make much of the opportunity. Meanwhile, Malaysia were not the ones to miss out on PCs as Amirol Arshad (40′) and Najmi Jazlan (42′) scored from impressive dragflicks to take their lead to a strong 7-1.

The final 15 minutes saw both teams trade chances in the circle but none came up with a successful conversion, thus ending the match with the scoreboard reading 7-1.

Post match comments:

On continuing their winning streak Malaysian National Coach Stephen van Huizen said, “We went into this match knowing that we had made the Super 4s, we tried to manage our performance without overworking and at the same time improve on certain areas. I am happy we won comfortably and we look forward to Super 4s. Every match hence forth will be tough and we have to be our best in all three matches to make the final.”

Meanwhile, Oman Coach AK Ponacha said, “It was a very good match. They are a good side and had no pressure in this match as they have already qualified for the Super 4s. Our boys played with pressure, the worry was to not concede too many goals and wanted to focus on defence and marking. But they had a very good second and third quarter. Next, we have to do well against Japan to finish in a higher ranking that will be our focus now.”

Goal of the Game:

Presented By: Ghulam Ghous (Manager Coaching and Development, Head of National Associations Relations and FIH trainer)

Winner: Tajuddin Tengku of Malaysia

HERO Man of the Match Award

Presented by: Mr. Sajed AA Adel (Former Secretary Bangladesh Hockey Federation)

Winner: Arshad Amirol of Malaysia

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