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Thursday August 29, 2013 MYT 4:50:00 PM
Thursday August 29, 2013 MYT 4:51:59 PM
by aftar singh
Malaysia coach Paul Revington: 'The boys are in high spirits and they have vowed to give their best against India to feature in the final for the first time.'
IPOH: Malaysia have not featured in the final of the Asia Cup since the inception of the tournament in 1982.
Their best ever achievement was finishing third in Chennai in 2007 under the guidance of former national coach Sarjit Singh.
Although Malaysia are virtually through to next year’s World Cup in The Hague, Holland, they have a chance to get the better of two-time champions India Friday to reach the final.
The pressure will be on India as they have yet to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. The national team have beaten India before - at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou and they can do it again.
The Malaysian team, then coached by former national Stephen van Huizen, came back twice from a goal down to beat India 3-2 in the sudden death in the semi-finals of the 2010 Asiad. However, they lost to Pakistan 2-0 in the final. Malaysia, who are ranked 13th in the world, have played India 103 times since 1985. But, India ranked 11th in the world, hold the advantage of having won 71 times, drawing 18 and losing only 14 times to Malaysia.
Both teams last met at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in March at the same venue and the match ended in a 2-2 draw.
National coach Paul Revington said that their target is to win the Asia Cup and they have a game plan to get the better of India.
“We know each other’s game quite well and it will be an interesting semi-final. We have had a two-day break to fine-tune one or two areas,” said Revington.
“One area which we really need to work on is the defence as we have conceded goals due to defensive lapses. However, the boys are in high spirits and they have vowed to give their best against India to feature in the final for the first time,” said the South African coach.
India’s coach Roelant Oltmans said that there is no pressure on them although they have yet to qualify for next year’s World Cup.
“We can expect a tight game against Malaysia, who have developed into a strong team in recent years. They are playing well with a fast attacking game but I am optimistic that my players will rise to the occasion to beat the Malaysian team,” said the Dutch coach.
Japan vs Bangladesh - 3.00pm
Oman vs Taiwan - 5.15pm
Pakistan vs S. Korea - 7.30pm
India vs Malaysia - 9.45pm
(All matches at the Azlan Shah Stadium)
Tags / Keywords:
hockey, Asia Cup, Paul Revington, India, Malaysia
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