'Quality tournaments vital for strengthening the Speedy Tigresses'

KUALA LUMPUR: Coach Nasihin Nubli believes that the Speedy Tigresses need more quality tournaments to become a stronger team.

His statement comes after the Malaysian women's hockey team met their target at the Asian Games, securing a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Thailand in the fifth-sixth classification match on Saturday in Hangzhou.

The team, comprising a mix of senior and junior players, went to Hangzhou with fifth place as their target.

And they hit the bullseye to qualify for the Olympic qualifier next year as one of the top five teams in the Asian Games.

"Thailand put up a strong fight, and I am pleased that my players, both young and experienced, worked together to come from behind and win this crucial match," said Nasihin.

"Our women's team need more quality tournaments to grow stronger.

"We rarely get a chance to play against top Asian teams like India, South Korea, Japan and China."

He also extended his gratitude to the Malaysian Hockey Confederation, the National Sports Council, and the National Sports Institute for their trust and funding them for the Asian Games under category B.

Nasihin stressed that their strength as a team can only be enhanced through more high-quality matches.

Thailand, who lost to Malaysia 4-1 in the Sea Games in May, gave Nasihin's side a tough time and scored first.

Inpa Kunjira gave Thailand an early fifth-minute lead, but Hanis Nadiah Onn equalised for Malaysia in the 12th minute.

And just when the Malaysia looked like they were in trouble, Nuraini Abdul Rashid scored off a penalty corner in the 56th minute.

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