Malaysian Colts must beat Japan in the last group match of the 10th Sultan of Johor Cup International Invitational hockey tournament today for pride and honour.
Sitting at the bottom of the table standings following four consecutive defeats, win or lose today the Malaysians are still doomed to play in Saturday’s fifth-sixth classification match.
It will be a tough match against Japan for the buoyant but young team who did everything great to impress fans in four matches, except, emerge victorious.
Rahim Amin’s Malaysian Colts were bruised by the big guns. Never mind the big defeats against Australia (8-0), India (5-2), and Great Britain 4-2. Sad moments but the defeats certainly did not break the hearts of Malaysian fans who came by the hundreds in every match to lift the spirits of our young crusaders.
The Malaysian Colts have the pedigree to bounce back for a great performance against Japan, just as they showed the Australians by scoring two late goals after the Burras took a commendable 4-0 lead until the 50th minute.
“I am excited with the performance of the players who fought gallantly in all matches. Yes, they lack international exposure also but they did not lack the fighting spirit when the chips are down,” said Amin.
“Against Great Britain, they scored all three goals through poor defending. We allowed them to score in the first five minutes of each quarter. In international hockey we cannot afford such things,” said Amin.
“When we do not focus that is going to be our downfall. This is a lesson to our players and it must not be repeated against Japan. We have to always stay focused for 60 minutes of the game,” added Amin.
“They were determined to score and reduced the deficit. In fact, they were fighting till the very end to win the match but at the same time we must also be strong in defence,” he added.