The Malaysian hockey team will be facing defending champions New Zealand in the opening round of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup today but some unsettling news took a toll oon their preparations today.
Three players in the form of Razie Rahim, Firhan Ashari and penalty corner expert Shahrul Saabah have picked up a fever, making them doubtful for tonight.
However, coach Stephen Van Huizen is confident that his team will be able to cope without them, though he remains hopeful of seeing the trio recover in time for the game.
“We are basically ready to face this championship,” said Van Huizen as quoted from Harian Metro.
“But yes, three of our star players unfortunately caught a fever. I hope they can recover as soon as possible and be ready for the game,” he added.
When quizzed about their match against the Kiwis today, Van Huizen stated that their victory over New Zealand during the Ocenia Tour will not reflect how the game flows tonight.
“New Zealand will most definitely display a different tactical game because there’s a difference between a friendly game and an actual game. We expect it to be a tough match,” he added.