'Young Tigress' maul Taiwan 7-0 in Junior Asia Cup group opener
KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia started their 2023 Women's Hockey Junior Asia Cup campaign on a high by trouncing Taiwan 7-0 in Group A action in Kakamigahara, Japan today.
Defence stalwart Nur Nabila Alia Yussaini and forward Siti Nur Atika Shaikh Maznan each scored a brace to help the ‘Young Tigress’ squad coached by Lailin Abu Hassan collect full points in the match played at the Kawasaki Heavy Industries Hockey Stadium.
Malaysia, however, had to wait till the 20th minute to open their goal fest through forward Nur Shamine Azureen Mohammed Badusha. Nur Nabila Alia then followed up with a penalty shootout goal two minutes later.
Two penalty corrner goals in the 30th and 32nd minutes through Siti Nur Atika and Nurul Fatin Fatiah Azman widened the gap before Thibatharshini James scored a field goal in the 35th minute to make it 5-0.
The goal fest continued three minutes later through another Nur Nabila Alia penalty corner goal before Siti Nur Atika completed the rout in the 40th minute.
Despite the huge win, Lailin was not quite happy, saying that his charges could have done much better with their penalty corner executions.
"They struggled in the beginning but grew into the game with each quarter,” he said in a video shared by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) to the media.
He reminded his charges that they have to be sharper and more focused in their next match against India, whom he touted as tournament favourites, tomorrow.
The tournament runs from June 2-11, and is also a qualifier for the Women's Junior World Cup, with 10 nations, divided into two groups, participating.
Group toppers and runner-ups will advance to the semi-finals while the top three teams at the end of the tournament qualify for Junior World Cup in Santiago, Chile, from Nov 29 to Dec 10. - BERNAMA