PETALING JAYA: Malaysia led by captain Mohd Akhimullah Anuar Esook failed to go beyond the quarter-finals of the Junior Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar after losing 0-4 to France.
Hopes were high on Wallace Tan’s boys to keep the flag flying high but their collapse started as early as in the 14th minute when Timothee Clement sounded the board through a penalty corner conversion.
Malaysia’s goalkeeper Che Shahrul Azmi Che Saupi tried his best to hold off fiery attacks from the Frenchmen but it ended in futility.
The penalty corner specialist Clement struck again in 24th minute while Clement Mathis put France in a comfortable 3-0 lead by scoring in the 31st minute via a penalty corner.
Clement rose again in the 64th minutes to extend Malaysia’s misery.
In the other quarter-final matches, Argentina defeated Holland 2-1 while Germany beat Spain 3-1 in a shootout after they were held 2-2 in regulation time.
With the defeat, Malaysia failed to better their previous best achievement of a fourth-place finish in the 2013 edition. Malaysia have also finished fourth twice – in the inaugural edition in 1979 and 1982.