KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 — Malaysia failed to kick on from taking an early lead to lose 2 – 1 to India in their second Group A match at the 2023 Women’s Junior Asia Cup hockey tournament in Kakamigahara, Japan today.
Although the Young Tigress shot into a sixth-minute lead through a field goal by forward Dian Nursyakira Najwa Al-Wadqa Nazeri, coach Lailin Abu Hassan’s team’s joy was shortlived as India equalised four minutes later through a penalty corner setpiece by Mumtaz Khan.
Buoyed, India then went for the kill and Deepika got the winning goal through a penalty stroke in the 26th minute.
Although the Young Tigress gave it their everything, India held on to bag all three points to sit atop the Group A standings with two wins.
Malaysia, who are third in Group A with one win — a 7 – 0 thrashing of Taiwan in their opening game — and one defeat, will take on Uzbekistan tomorrow at 11am (Malaysian time).
Despite the defeat, coach Lailin was still full of praise for the spirited performance of his players against India, who are considered one of the strongest teams in the tournament.
“I am satisfied with the determination shown by the players. They were bent on wanting to win and show that we can give a good fight against a strong team like India.
“We had planned and analysed India’s penalty corner setpiece moves and we even knew their players’ movements… our players also did well in defending against their penalty corner setpieces,” he said in a video clip the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) shared with the media.
Meanwhile, Lailil also reminded his players to remain focused to ensure victory against Uzbekistan tomorrow.
The June 2 to June 11 tournament, which is also a qualifier for the Women’s Junior World Cup, is contested by 10 teams that are divided into two groups.
The group winners and runner-ups will advance to the semi-finals while the three top teams at the end of the tournament will qualify for the 2023 Junior World Cup in Santiago, Chile, from November 29 to December 10.