It's crunch time for Malaysia hockey team

  • Hockey
  • Monday, 29 Jun 2015

National hockey captain Mohd Razie Rahim (left) in action against India during the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in April. - Filepic

ANTWERP: Let’s get the job done. That’s the clarion call issued by skipper Mohd Razie Rahim as Malaysia go into Wednesday’s quarter-finals against India in the World Hockey League Semi-Finals.

Malaysia need to beat India to be one of the three teams from the tournament to qualify for next year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Malaysia’s last appearance at the Olympics was in Sydney in 2000.

“This is the match we have been waiting for. Now we have to go out there and get the result,” said Razie.

On Sunday, Malaysia went down 1-3 to Britain to finish third in Group B. It was Malaysia’s second straight defeat after losing 0-2 to hosts Belgium on Friday. Malaysia kicked off their campaign by beating China 3-2 and then followed it up by beating Ireland 4-2.

As for India, they lost for the first time in the tournament after going down 2-6 to Australia on Sunday. They finished second in Group A with seven points. But India have already qualified for the Olympics after winning the Asian Games gold medal last year.

Razie said Malaysia need to wake up after suffering two straight losses.

“After the first two wins, our performances took a dip. The players all realise that and must make sure we do not falter against India. We’ve to win this match at all cost.

“We need to support one another with greater efforts. We are always better when we play hard as a unit. We will not stop running until the final whistle. We need to cut down our errors and take control of the game,” he added.

The last time Malaysia met India was at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh in April this year. Then, Malaysia won 3-2.

“India is a familiar foe. They know us very well. Past results don’t count and there is no way we’ll underestimate them just because we won the last time,” said Razie.

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