Women’s hockey juniors go down after strong fight

Young Tigress captian Nur Insyirah Effarizal challeging a South Korean player in their Group A match at the women's Junior Asia Cup in Kakamigahara, Japan on June 8. South Korea won 3-1. - AHF PIC

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia put up strong resistance but could not stop South Korea from running away with a 3-1 win in the women’s Junior Asia Cup in Kakamigahara, Japan yesterday.

The Young Tigress, needing a victory to secure a place in the semi-finals from Group A, trailed 0-1 at the interval after An Su-jin converted a penalty corner in the fourth minute.

However, the four-time champions scored another penalty corner in the 38th minute through Song Sung-eun and a field goal from Lee Yu-jin (48th) ensured they joined group champions India in the last four.

Malaysia replied through Norsyafiqah Ishak in the 38th minute but could not make further inroads against a solid Korean side.

Malaysia, who finished third in Group A with six points, will play Hong Kong in the fifth-eight placing playoffs today.

National women’s junior coach Lailin Abu Hassan praised the performance of the players after matching the Koreans for most of the game.

“The girls gave strong resistance to South Korea despite the 3-1 defeat. Some lapses in concentration saw them conceding the goals but they played with high intensity,” said Lailin.

“I hope they’ll play with the same spirit in the playoff against Hong Kong. They should not take their opponents for granted but give their full efforts to ensure they win and qualify for the fifth placing playoff.”

The semi-finals will take place tomorrow where India will play Japan while defending champions China will meet South Korea.

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