The Group D tie at the Kalinga Stadium for Malaysia and Pakistan is a do-or-die affair. Malaysia and Pakistan have lost their opening matches.
Malaysia who lost by a big margin to Holland is more vulnerable compared to the Pakistanis.
However, Malaysia head coach Roelant Oltmans said his main target is not the World Cup but qualifying for the Olympics, the qualifiers of which will be in a year. He says by next year, hopefully, he can bring the team to the required level.
Malaysia enter the 2018 Hockey World cup having previously made eight appearances in the World Cup, with their best performance to date coming way back in 1975. Malaysia’s best finish was the fourth place at the home 1975 World Cup. In 2002 they finished in eighth place, also at home.
Short duration with the teams not a big factor.
“I knew the time was short and so did the MHC of the players. But for me, there is a larger target which is to qualify for the Olympics in 2020 in Japan. But then again no team comes to the World Cup just to participate. We want to do our best and we have had about 10 matches coming here.” Oltmans said.
Road to Tokyo 2020
“It will not be easy as the qualifying process finalised by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) is very complicated.
If the team can play well and pick up points to improve their ranking in the World Cup, then we will get a better draw for the qualifiers.We cannot afford not to play well at the World Cup.
All the players need to be aware of the importance of doing well,” said the 64-year-old who guided the Netherlands to the 1996 Atlanta Olympic and 1998 Utrecht World Cup crowns.
Malaysia Player Stats and Full Squad for the Hockey World Cup 2018:
- World Rank : 12
- Last Appearance: 2014 (12th)
- Head Coach : Roelant Oltmans
- Goalkeeper : S.Kumar & Hairi Rahman
- Most Capped Player : S.Kumar (305)
- Youngest Player : Norsyafiq Sumantri & Aiman Rozemi (22)
- Oldest Player : S.Kumar (39)
Full Squad: Kumar Subramaniam, Hairi Rahman,Sumantri Norsyafiq, Ramadan Rosli, Marhan Jalil, Fitri Saari, Joel Van Huizen, Faizal Saari, Syed Cholan, Sukri Mutalib, Firhan Ashari, Nabil Noor, Razie Rahim, Faiz Jali, Azri Hassan, Hasan Azuan, Tajuddin Tengku, Nik Rozemi