24/05/2023 05:59 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 (Bernama) -- The national men's hockey junior team began their Asian Youth Cup 2023 campaign in style by thrashing Uzbekistan 8-1 in their Group B opener in Salalah, Oman, late yesterday.

In the action that took place at the Sultan Qaboos Youth Complex, Muhamad Amin Rahim’s charges easily took a 3-0 lead in the first quarter through T. Perabu's penalty corner in the seventh and ninth minutes followed by Alfarico Lance Liau Jr's field goal in the 12th minute.

Perabu capped off his brilliant performance with a hat-trick when he converted a penalty corner in the 18th minute for the team's fourth goal before Shahmie Irfan Suhaimi and Che Nur Aqilrullah Che Mohd Khairulzi Anwar made it 6-0 in the 26th and 27th minutes, respectively.

Another two goals scored by Mughni Mohamad Kamal and Muhammad Adam Ashraf Mohd Johari in the last quarter of the game added to the onslaught before the opponents finally scored a consolation goal through Shavkatjon Kakhramonov five minutes before the final whistle.

Commenting on the 8-1 win, Muhamad Amin said his boys performed well to collect the first three points and hoped that all of them would remain focused ahead of the second match against Bangladesh, tomorrow.

"Tomorrow (today) we will rest and use the day off to analyse the weaknesses and strengths of the team, in addition to studying the weaknesses and strengths of the Bangladesh team as we prepare to meet them in the second fixture," he said in a statement released by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (KHM).

The national youth squad will then face South Korea on May 27 and end the group competition against Oman (on May 29) hoping to finish in the top two to advance to the semi-finals.

Malaysia made history in 2012 when they emerged champions of the Men’s Hockey Junior Asia Cup for the first time, ending a 20-year wait to win the championship after defeating Pakistan 2-1 in the final at the Bukit Serindit Hockey Stadium in Melaka.


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