NATIONAL hockey stalwart Razie Rahim’s head slumped when the final whistle went off.
He knew he could have been the hero but had failed at a crucial moment.
The usually efficient defender had a chance to score the equalising goal in the 53rd minute with a penalty stroke against South Korea in their Pool B match at the Gongshu Canal Park Stadium yesterday.
But the 36-year-old squandered the chance as Malaysia suffered their first defeat in the Asian Games, losing 3-4.
If they had got a point, the Speedy Tigers would need just a draw against China to get into the semi-finals. Instead, they now have to win the final group game tomorrow.
Razie threw up his hands when met afterwards.
“I take responsibility for this defeat. I am disappointed I did not convert that stroke. If it had gone in, things would have been different,” he said.
Malaysia took the lead through Ashran Hamsani in the fifth minute but South Korean veteran drag flicker Jang Jong-hyun equalised six minutes later with a penalty stroke.
The Speedy Tigers regained the lead again through Faizal Saari in the 30th minute.
South Korea started the second half with real gusto and deservedly equalised through Lee Nam-yong in the 32nd minute.
Malaysia again took the lead when Razie buried a penalty stroke in the 44th minute. But the lead lasted just seconds with Jang Jong-hyun scoring a penalty corner to make it 3-3.
Yang Ji-hun then scored a penalty stroke in the 53rd minute to put his team ahead. Then came Razie’s miss.
Razie said the defeat was a bitter pill to swallow but knows they have another game to atone for themselves.
“The result is disappointing but we have another game against China. We will watch the video of the game against South Korea and assess the mistakes we made, especially how we conceded strokes and also allowed long balls to be played often.
“We will need to buck up against China. We are playing in front of their crowd, so mistakes cannot be made.”