HANGZHOU: The national men’s hockey squad lived up to expectations after easily overcoming Indonesia 9-2 in the third Group B match of the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games at the Gongshu Canal Sports Park Stadium today.
Indonesia, guided by former national women’s squad coach Dharma Raj Abdullah, put up a fierce fight in the first quarter when Ahdan Asasi Ramadhan Uno’s goal in the 15th minute cancelled out Ashran Hamsani’s opener in the 10th minute.
The national team began to dominate the game in the second quarter after getting back in front through Firhan Ashari’s goal in the 17th minute before Najmi Farizal Jazlan’s penalty corner goal two minutes later gave Malaysia a comfortable 3-1 lead.
In the third quarter, Arul Selvaraj’s squad showed their mettle as they scored five goals, three from penalty corners by Faizal Saari (33rd minute), Najmi (35th minute), and Razie Abd Rahim (43rd minute), and field goals by Shello Silverius (38th minute) and Azrai Aizad Abu Kamal (42nd minute), making the score 8-1 heading into the last quarter.
Malaysia added another goal through Aminudin Mohd Zain’s penalty corner in the 48th minute before Indonesia managed to get one back through Aulia Akba Al Ardh’s penalty stroke in the 55th minute.
Despite the win, Arul Selvaraj was less than satisfied with the performance of his men after allowing the opposition to score twice.
“I am not satisfied in terms of the concentration, technique, and when we allowed Indonesia to score two goals. I am not happy and I will resolve it tomorrow,” he said after the match.
Today’s success saw Malaysia record three consecutive victories after defeating Thailand 9-0 and Oman 11-1 in the first two matches.
Malaysia face a crucial match against South Korea at the same venue on Saturday, considered to be the decider of who finishes on top of Group B, before rounding up the group competition against China on Monday.