#Hockey: Team Malaysia to bounce back after defeat to Red Cougars

Malaysia was outclassed by Belgium 3-0 at the recent Uttar Pradesh Hockey Junior World Cup Men on Monday.

The results meant that Malaysia finished third in Pool B table standings, while Belgium and Netherlands qualified for Thursday’s quarterfinals. The Belgians, also known as the Red Cougars, are top of the pool with nine points.

Malaysia will now face New Zealand in the 9-12th classification match on Wednesday. New Zealand lost to Spain for a spot in the quarterfinals after a last minute 3-3 draw.

“Overall it was a good match as we proved the players are capable of giving European teams a good challenge despite the short notice we had in coming here,” said Malaysian juniors head coach Wallace Tan.

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Malaysia has beaten New Zealand twice in the Sultan of Johor Cup in early November at Johor Bahru, but Wallace is not counting much into the past and wants the juniors to stay focused on Wednesday.

“We cannot look into the SOJC performance anymore as New Zealand has been playing exceptionally well here.” Wallace added.

“They had very strong teams in their group and lost out by a whisker of a spot against Spain in the quarterfinals. So we just have to keep improving in our own game.”

Good luck juniors!

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