Nadia Abdul Rahman (centre) will captain the national women's hockey team to the World League Round One in Singapore. - IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia, who were beaten by India in all their five friendly matches in Kuala Lumpur last week, are confident of winning the women’s hockey World League Round One, which begins tomorrow at the Sengkang Sports and Recreation Centre in Singapore.
Seven teams will feature in the competition, which is a qualifying tournament for 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Malaysia, who won the World League Round One in Kuantan last year, will open their Group A campaign against Sri Lanka tomorrow. They will wrap up the fixtures against hosts Singapore on Sunday.
Group B comprises Kazakhstan, Hong Kong, Thailand and Myanmar.
The semi-finals will be played on June 25 and the final is slated on June 26. The top four teams will qualify for Round Two of the World League.
National coach Mohd Nasihin Nubli said the forward-line was the weakest link in the friendlies against India.
“We failed to score a single goal in the first four matches. It was a dismal performance,” said the former international.
Malaysia lost 0-4, 0-2, 0-2, 0-2 and 2-5.
To boost the strike force in Singapore, Nasihin has included newcomer Hanis Nadiah Onn of Johor.
“The forwards need to be sharper in the semi-circle. Despite the poor results against India, I am optimistic that the players will rise to the occasion to win the tournament.
“I am also banking on Juliani (Mohamed Din) to deliver the goals from penalty corners,” said Nasihin.
Malaysia are ranked 21 in the world and they are the highest ranked team in the tournament.