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Wednesday October 9, 2013 MYT 4:39:00 PM
Wednesday October 9, 2013 MYT 4:41:57 PM
by aftar singh
Mohd Firhan Ashaari vying the ball with England's William John Creed Brendan during their match at last month's Sultan of Johor Cup. Firhan feels he should be sharper in front of goal, especially against India in the upcoming playing tour there.
KUALA LUMPUR: Forward Mohd Firhan Ashaari is not happy with his goalscoring rate.
At the Sultan of Johor Cup in Johor Baru last month, the 20-year-old Kuala Terengganu-born player scored only three goals in six matches.
Firhan, capped 31 times at senior level, said as a senior member of the team he should have plundered more goals in the tournament.
“I only managed to score three goals despite being the key forward in the team,” lamented Firhan.
Malaysia scored 19 goals in six matches with forward Mohd Shahril Saabah netting eight goals from penalty corners to emerge as the tournament’s top scorer.
“I need to be sharper in front of goal. We’ll be going for a three-match playing tour to New Delhi next month. Hopefully I can score against India.
“We played India twice in the Sultan of Johor Cup and on both occasions I failed to score a goal,” said Firhan.
Malaysia drew 3-3 in the preliminary round match against India before losing 3-0 in the final.
In New Delhi, Malaysia will play three friendlies against their Indian counterparts on Oct 17, 19 and 20 at the Dhyan Chand Hockey Stadium, which is the venue for the Junior World Cup from Dec 6-15.
Firhan admitted that with the revised draw made by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for the Junior World Cup, Malaysia now face a tough opening match against New Zealand on Dec 6.
New Zealand, who were initially drawn in Group C, have been moved to Group D which comprises Malaysia, England and South Africa.
Pakistan, who were originally in Group D, are now in Group A with defending champions Germany, Belgium and Egypt.
Firhan said the Kiwis, ranked fifth in the world, would pose a serious threat to Malaysia.
“We have about two months to improve our performance in every department. We need to be at our best in the Junior World Cup,” said Firhan.
At the last Junior World Cup in Johor Baru in 2009, New Zealand finished a creditable fourth while Malaysia finished 12th out of 20 teams.
Tags / Keywords:
hockey, Malaysia, Mohd Firhan Ashaari, Mohd Shahril Saabah, India, Junior World Cup
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