KUALA LUMPUR – The national women’s junior hockey squad missed the chance to reach the semi-finals of the Women’s Junior Asia Cup 2023, when they lost 1-3 to South Korea in the last match of Group A, today.
With only the top two teams from the group advancing, the defeat saw India and South Korea, who shared 10 points each, book a slot in the semi-finals in Kakamigahara, Japan.
Malaysia, who had earlier defeated Chinese Taipei 7-0 and Uzbekistan 12-0, however, lost to India 1-2 and finished third in the group with six points.
In today’s action, South Korea opened the scoring as early as the fourth minute through a penalty corner converted by Sujin An, before Sungeun Song doubled the lead with another penalty corner conversion in the 38th minute.
Shocked by the goasl, the Young Tigress quickly closed the gap in just a few seconds through Norshafiqha Ishak’s field goal in the 38th minute.
As the national team searched for the equaliser, South Korea increased the gap through Yujin Lee’s field goal in the 48th minute to secure the full three points, thus dashing Malaysia’s semi-final hopes.
The Young Tigress will next face Hong Kong in the fifth-eighth place deciders tomorrow, while South Korea will challenge defending champions, China.
Team coach, Lailin Abu Hassan urged his charges not to take the challenge of Hong Kong lightly and wanted them to give 100 per cent focus and effort to advance to the fifth-sixth place decider.
“Despite losing, the players have shown a good performance and put up great resistance. South Korea started to attack from the get-go but we managed to block all their attacks.
“However, a little lapse in defence gave them the opportunity to score. Hong Kong are a strong team, we have to be wary of them and ensure a victory,” he said in a video shared by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC).- Bernama