The National Men’s Senior Squad opened the curtain of the 2021 United Kingdom Tour Series, with a 2-2 draw against Old Georgians HC, in an action that took place in St. Petersburg. Georges College.
The Malaysian Tigers took the lead in the third quarter when Muhammad Najib Abu Hassan opened the scoreboard through a field goal in the 13th minute before Muhammad Shahril Saabah doubled the lead in the 41st minute through a penalty corner.
However, the Old Georgians came back to chase the position with two equalizers in the 44th and 58th minutes through a field goal which saw the match ended in a 2-2 draw.
Head Coach of the National Senior Men’s Squad, A Arulselvaraj described the match with the Old Georgians club team as a quality match as the opposing team lined up the Great Britain national players and the draw was a good start.
“This is a satisfying start after almost four and a half months without training and games.”
“To play outside and the performance given so far is very good even though we met the club team but this club lined up 10 to 11 Great Britain national players and this is a quality match.”
“The opposing team got five penalty corners compared to us who only got two penalty corners. For a start, the first match after so long, it was a good start with a 2-2 draw, ”said Arulselvaraj.
Meanwhile, Faiz Helmi Jali described the friendly match against a club-status team as a good exposure for him and his teammates before playing in the test match after almost four months of the team not being together due to the Movement Control Order implemented recently.
“After the first match, a lot needs to be improved but this is something that is good enough for all the players because after four months of not being together, this is our first match back together as a team.
“This friendly match is a good exposure for us, which is to meet a team with club status first before we meet Ireland for a test match,” explained Faiz Helmi.
Malaysia will take on Surbiton Hockey Club for the second friendly on Wednesday, September 29 at 2.30 am Malaysian time, at Surbiton Hockey Club.