Thursday, June 26, 2014

Impressive Malaysia win Women’s Hockey World League Round 1 tourney


The Malaysian men’s hockey team may have disappointed its fans with a wooden-spoon finish at the 2014 Rabobank World Cup in Hague, but its women counterparts somewhat atoned for that winning the Women’s Hockey World League Round 1 Tournament at the Sengkang Sports and Recreation Centre in Singapore.
The 21st ranked Malaysian eves swept aside 33rd ranked Kazakhstan 5-0 to qualify for the Women’s Hockey World League Round 2 Tournament, which will serve as a qualifying tournament for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. It may be noted that Malaysia had won the Women’s Hockey World League Round 1 Tournament in Kuantan last year.
Malaysia did not allow Kazakhstan to settle down and struck in the 5th minute through Noor Ali Hasliza. Hardly had the Kazakhs recovered from the early strike, Malaysia  compounded their woes doubling the lead three minutes later through Rashid Nuraini.
The match literally went out of Kazakhstan’s grasp when Noor Ali Hasliza made the scoreline 3-0 in the 29th minute. There was no let up in intensity from the Malaysians when Rahman Nadia converted a penalty corner close to half-time to ensure Malaysia had only the winning formalities to complete in the second stanza having sewed up a 4-0 lead at the break.
Changing over Kazakhstan tightened their defence although they found it hard to breach the Malaysian citadel. Malaysia did sneak in the fifth goal six minutes from the final hooter through Mohamed Adawiyah even as Kazakhstan strived to narrow the victory margin.
Earlier, Malaysia bulldozed 53rd ranked Thailand 8-0, while Kazakhstan whipped 48th ranked Singapore 5-1 in the semifinals.
Thailand sprang an upset of sorts when they put it across higher ranked and hosts Singapore 4-1 in the 3-4 place play-off tie.

As many as seven teams are taking part in the six-day event.

The writer can be contacted at: suhridbarua@gmail.com




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