Bad start: Darren Rahul Pragasam lost the first match against Abedalkader Jeitan in the tie with Jordan at the Asian Junior Team Championships yesterday.
KUALA LUMPUR: Defending boys’ champions Malaysia are staring at an early exit from the 18th Asian Junior Team Squash Championships in Hong Kong.
Second seeds Malaysia’s hopes of reaching the semi-finals were severely dented after being upset 2-1 by sixth seeds Jordan in a Group B match at the Hong Kong Sports Club yesterday.
Malaysia must now win their last group match – against third seeds Hong Kong – today if they want to reach the last four.
But it won’t be easy as Hong Kong edged Jordan 2-1 yesterday afternoon for their fourth consecutive win.
In the match against Jordan, Malaysia’s Darren Rahul Pragasam lost 15-13, 10-12, 9-11, 11-3, 11-13 to Abedalkader Jeitan in the first match.
Ong Sai Hung then went up against Mohammad Al-Sarraj and he too fell 9-11, 6-11, 11-9, 7-11.
Mohd Farez Izwan delivered a point for Malaysia with an 11-3, 11-6, 11-3 win over Abdel Rahman Saraj.
National coach Andrew Cross was disappointed with the boys’ performances against Jordan.
“The boys have got some work to do in their last match against Hong Kong. It’s up to them really to try and sort it out.
“We have to beat Hong Kong ... it will be tough, but we can still do it,” said Cross.
In contrast, the Malaysian girls’ team – who are also the defending champions – checked into the semi-finals with 100% record in Group A.
The Malaysian girls, who beat Taiwan and Macau with identical 3-0 scorelines on Wednesday, continued their fine form with another two 3-0 wins over South Korea and Singapore yesterday to top the group with four wins.
The Malaysian girls will now enjoy a one-day break before the semi-finals tomorrow.
Hong Kong and Japan have also sealed their places in the last four from Group B after chalking up two wins each.
Both teams will face each other today to determine the group winner.