Du Talake (right) is congratulated by a team-mate after scoring China's third goal against Malaysia on April 19, 2014. China won 5-2.
KUALA LUMPUR: Goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin aggravated his ankle injury in a friendly match against China and will not feature in the Champions Challenge I hockey tournament in Kuantan, from April 26.
The 35-year-old Perak-born player, who has represented Malaysia since the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games, also did not play in last month’s Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh due to the same nagging injury.
Malaysia’s top keeper S. Kumar, 34, who was rested for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, will play in Kuantan. Kumar has been out of action for the past few months after picking up a hamstring injury while playing for Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the Hockey India League (HIL) in February and just returned for this round of friendlies.
Former Junior World Cupper Mohd Hafizuddin Othman, who played reasonably well in his international senior debut in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, is expected to be named the reserve keeper.
National chief coach K. Dharmaraj said Roslan has been advised to fully recover from the ankle injury he suffered in the third friendly match on Wednesday.
“Without Roslan, I have 28 players in the training squad and I will drop seven or eight after our sixth and last friendly match against China tomorrow,” said Dharmaraj.
The national team will depart for Kuantan on Monday and they will play two more friendlies, against France (Tuesday) and Poland (Thursday), before Dharmaraj names his final squad of 18 players for the Champions Challenge I.
Malaysia plays in Group B in the Kuantan tournament and will open their campaign against France on May 26. Their other matches are against South Korea (May 27) and Canada (May 29).
New Zealand, Poland, Japan and Ireland are drawn in Group A.
Meanwhile, Malaysia were outplayed 5-2 by China in the fifth friendly match, which was played in a new 15-minute four halves format, at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Saturday.
Forward Hafifihafiz Hanafi gave Malaysia the lead in the third minute but China played a fast attacking game to shock Malaysia with five goals through Chua Xiou Chin (9th), Dong Yang (14th), Du Talake (23rd), Du Chen (25th) and Xe Chang (36th) to take a comfortable 5-1 lead.
Malaysia could only narrow the deficit through striker S. Selvaraju in the 59th minute.
Dharmaraj said that they lost the match because keepers Kumar and Hafizuddin, who each played two halves, put on a disappointing performance by letting in some soft goals.
It was the first defeat for Malaysia in their five friendly matches against China. Malaysia won three matches (2-1, 6-1 and 5-2) and drew one (4-4).