FIH Series; France in the way in playoffs

Malaysia face France in the first match of the playoffs on Thursday, 13th June and Scotland face Czech Republic in the second match of the day.

The winner of the cross-overs match will qualify for the semi-finals.

In the Malaysia against Czech Republic , both teams came to this match with contrasting results in their previous fixtures.

The Malaysian team had enjoyed a crushing 12-0 win over Singapore and started the match with confidence.

Czech Republic chose to take a more defensive approach in the first half but couldn’t stop Malaysia from taking the lead in the 28th minute as defensive lapses offered a great opportunity to Norfaiezah Saiuti to put one past the keeper.

In the second half, Czech Republic came out with a more offensive strategy and started to build pressure on Malaysia.

The pressure paid off in the final quarter as Adela Lehovcova equalized for Czech Republic.

But the lead lasted barely a minute as Malaysia countered and earned a penalty corner. Fazilla Sylvester restored their lead after a brilliant spin routine by Nuraini Rashid.

Malaysia virtually sealed the match with a third goal in the 54th minute.

Czech Republic continued to press in search of another goal, but they were kept out by the Malaysian keeper, including an excellent save coming with around four minutes to the final whistle.

Malaysia’s coach Dharma Raj: “We knew that the result of this match would decide our next opponents. It was a choice between playing Ireland or Korea. We wanted to avoid Ireland in the semis.”