Argentina trounce Malaysia 4-0 in JWC

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia played like champions in their opening match, and then lost all sense of consistency to be bullied by World No. 1 Argentina who breezed with a 4-0 victory in Group A of the Junior World Cup on Wednesday.

It was a tale of near misses for Malaysia at the National Hockey Stadium while Argentina scored two easy early goals which went between goalkeeper Rafaizul Saini's pads, to virtually qualify for the quarter-finals on six points after two matches.

Malaysia also bungled four penalty corners, while Argentina won only one and scored off it.

Now, Malaysia must beat Australia at all costs on Friday to open the quarter-finals door.

Three players suffered cramps, and two green cards as well as two yellow, were what Malaysia collected from this match which was supposed to be a chance to make the last eight.

Argentina scored off Bautista Capurro (20th), Marco Aguirre (28th), Inaki Minadeo (44th) and Juan Fernandez (48th),

Earlier, Malaysia had beaten Chile 7-1 while Australia matched them with the same score to keep pace.

Rafaizul Saini was man enough to shoulder the blame for the first two goals as his eyes were not on the ball.

"Yes, I take full responsibility for the first two goals as my eyes were not on the ball and Argentina scored. However, I vow to be alert in the next match against Australia as it's our last chance to qualify for the quarter-finals," said Rafaizul.

Malaysia coach Amin Rahim said the cramps, which had plagued his players in the Sultan of Johor Cup as well, was due to dehydration and not physical training.

"We have advised players to drink enough water and they are tested everyday, but still they suffer cramps. It's not because of tough physical training.

"On our next match, it's our last door to the knockout and of course my players and I will plan and give our best," said Amin.

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