(File pix) The national hockey team at KLIA, Sepang before leaving for Dhaka recently. Pix by Osman Adnan

DHAKA: We are a World Cup team, and need to live up to the billing.

That's what Malaysian skipper Shukri Mutalib said after beating China 7-1 with an eye to conquering South Korea next.

"It's not the same anymore, everybody looks up to us now, and we must make sure we give our best in every match.

"We have beaten China, India and South Korea in the London World League and must not let them get back at us," said Shukri.

In the London World League Semi-finals, Malaysia beat China 5-1, South Korea 1-0 and India 3-2 en route to qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

Finishing fourth, Malaysia ended above the rest of the Asia teams, with India sixth, Pakistan seventh, China eighth, and South Korea ninth.

"London is an experience which must be built upon. When all other Asian teams failed, we managed to achieve our best form.

"There are a few changes in the Malaysian side for the Asia Cup, but all other teams have also made changes, so we must keep up the momentum to realise our target of playing in the first Asia Cup final ever," said Shukri.

In Nine Editions of the Asia Cup, Malaysia had made the semi-finals six times but won only one bronze medal in 2007 in Chennai.

Shukri and his mates might just change the statistics with their new approach.

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