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Malaysian Tigress unfazed about facing India at Asian Games

Malaysian Tigress unfazed about facing India at Asian Games

The national women's hockey squad poses for a photo at Gongshu Canal Sports Park Stadium in Hangzhou September 25, 2023. ― Bernama pic

HANGZHOU, Sept 28 ― The national women's hockey squad do not fear playing India, one of Asia's top teams, in their second Group A match of the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games at the Gongshu Canal Sports Park Stadium here tomorrow.

National coach Mohd Nasihin Nubli Ibrahim said the Malaysian Tigress were determined to give their all against India, the silver medallists from the last Games and whose players have generally made 100 to 200 international appearances.

Mohd Nasihin said his team's confidence had also been boosted by their 8-0 thrashing of Hong Kong in their opening match on Monday.

He said the team would be strengthened by skipper Juliani Mohd Din, who was rested against Hong Kong, and would be adopting a different strategy against India.

“We will go all out to show where our women's hockey squad stand at the moment. There is no pressure on the players; we (coaches) only want the best from them,” he said when met here.

Mohd Nasihin said the 0-9 drubbing they suffered at the hands of India in their last meeting at the 2021 Asian Cup in Muscat, Oman could not be used as a yardstick as the situation had changed.

"At that time we had 12 players making their international debut and the (team) structure was quite different. This time it's a different squad, so the pressure is more on India, not us,” he added.

Meanwhile, a player with 131 international caps and who scored a goal against Hong Kong, Nuraini Abdul Rashid, said: “India are very good but we can give them a good fight."

“Nothing is impossible against India. We will give our best," said another senior player, Hanis Nadiah Onn, who also scored a goal in the last match.

India are ranked seventh in the world while Malaysia are number 18.

After India, Malaysia will meet Singapore on Sunday and South Korea on Tuesday to wind up their group campaign. ― Bernama