Young Tigers hope to break inconsistency pattern at JWC

KUALA LUMPUR: Inconsistency has plagued Malaysian hockey for decades, and the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) hopes the Young Tigers will break this pattern in next month's Junior World Cup in Kuala Lumpur.

The national junior team, setting a semi-final target, will face Chile, Australia and Argentina in Group A of the JWC, with the top two teams advancing to the next stage.

With formidable opponents like Australia and Argentina, the journey ahead promises to be challenging.

Chile are the first on the menu on Dec 5, and Malaysia cannot afford to drop points against the South American minnows.

MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal expressed concerns about the historical inconsistency in Malaysian teams and emphasised the need for the junior team to be consistent to qualify for the quarter-finals.

"One day, they (seniors and juniors) can play like champions and then collapse against beatable teams on the next day.

"MHC has done everything to prepare the JWC team, and they need to be consistent to qualify for the quarter-finals," said Subahan.

On paper, Malaysia should have the upper hand against Chile, who qualified as the third-best team in the South American qualifier.

Pan Am gold medallist Argentina are a bigger threat to Malaysia.

They dominated Chile 7-0 and Brazil 11-0, while Chile only managed a 2-0 victory against Brazil.

Reflecting on the Sultan of Johor Cup (SoJC), Subahan stressed that the junior team must avoid conceding easy goals and consistently score during penalty corner set-pieces to perform well in the JWC.

"Although the team finished seventh among eight teams in the SoJC, their margin of defeats was not too wide, except for the Britain game (lost 7-4).

"I believe with a final push in the coming week, they will be ready to impress the crowd at Bukit Jalil," added Subahan.

Malaysia lost 3-1 to India, 3-2 to New Zealand, 3-2 to Pakistan and only managed to beat South Africa 3-2 to avoid finishing last.

But from Dec 5, Amin's team cannot afford to let their country, fans and MHC officials down.

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories