Malaysia Must Not Underestimate Sri Lanka, Says Hockey Coach

Malaysian men's hockey team head coach Stephen van Huizen has called on his players to secure victory over Sri Lanka when both sides meet in the quarterfinals of the World Hockey League Round 2 at the Maulana Bhashani Hockey Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh, tomorrow.

He stressed that the competition had entered a crucial stage and therefore, urged the players to execute the chances well.

“The results of three earlier games in the preliminary round do not matter as it was merely to prepare the team for the second stage. We will need to get all the details right individually and as a team,” Stephen was quoted as saying in the statement issued by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC), today adding that the victory will come if the players stay composed throughout the match.

Sharing the same view was team captain Muhammad Sukri Abdul Mutalib who urged his teammates to not underestimate Sri Lanka who are currently ranked 41st in the Hero FIH World Rankings.

“Though we are confident with our ability to win the game, we simply cannot underestimate the Sri Lankans as they do have a few good players and therefore, we need to keep our focus during the match,” the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club player said.

For the record, Malaysia secured victories in all three preliminary matches in Group A, starting with a 3-0 win against Bangladesh on Saturday, followed by a 6-1 drubbing of Oman on Sunday, before whipping Fiji 11-1, yesterday to complete their group fixtures in style.

Based on the tournament format, the top two teams will qualify for the Hockey World League Semifinals in London, England from June 15-27 which serves as a qualifying event for the 2018 FIH Men's Hockey World Cup hosted by India. ― Bernama
(Malay Mail Online)

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