GLASGOW: National goalkeeper Farah Ayuni Yahya is already feeling jittery as she prepares to face the powerful attacking force of defending champions Australia in their opening women’s Group B match at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre on Thursday.
There is a good reason why she dreads facing the mighty Australians.
The Johor goalkeeper endured a nightmare when she last played against Australia in the International Super Series nine-a-side tournament in Perth last October.
Farah, who is featuring in her second Commonwealth Games, let in nine goals in that match.
To make matters worse, Australia have retained 15 of the players who finished runners-up to Holland in the World Cup in The Hague last month.
The 25-year-old Farah admitted that it would be almost impossible to stop the marauding Australians.
“I was devastated when I let in nine goals the last time I played against them. I’m already feeling nervous … it’s not going to be easy to stop them,” confessed Farah.
“We simply cannot afford to give the Australians any breathing space because they are deadly and clinical in the semi-circle.
“We have to play a very tight marking game and launch counter attacks whenever we can. But I know this is easier said than done.”
Malaysia’s other group matches are against Scotland (on Friday), England (July 27) and Wales (July 30).
At the last Games in New Delhi in 2010, Malaysia started off well by beating Canada 3-2. But they then lost the other three group matches – 5-0 to New Zealand, 2-1 to Wales and 3-0 to England.
In the ninth placing playoff, Malaysia finished last after losing 2-1 to Trinidad and Tobago.