Pakistan face Malaysia in Azlan Shah Cup
14 March, 2013
Suffering two back-to-back defeats, Pakistan facing hosts Malaysia in a must-win game in the Azlan Shah Cup tournament in Ipoh today.
Pakistan kicked off their campaign with a victory over defending champions New Zealand, but then embarrassing losses to Australia and India forced them to slip to the bottom of the points table in the six-nation event.
With just three points to their credit, a loss or even a draw will take Pakistan out of contention for playing in the final.
So far, Malaysia are enjoying a good tournament as they are yet to be beaten in the competition. They are placed second behind Australia with wins against South Korea and New Zealand and a draw against the world champions.
Akhtar Rasool, a former Olympian, felt it will not be an easy task for his charges to overcome the hosts.
“They (Malaysia) are an in-form team and playing good hockey. We'll have to work hard against them as they have proved themselves tough opponents in the tournament.”
However, Rasool hoped his team was capable of bouncing back in the tournament.
Malaysia wary of Pakistan's possible resurgence
Meanwhile, Malaysia only need one win from their remaining two fixtures to book their place in the final but are wary of a potential challenge from Pakistan.
The team's coach Paul Revington said the greenshirts are a dangerous side when wounded.
“We will plan the game accordingly and not rush into doing something that could prove fatal to our hopes,” said Revington, according to the tournament's website.
“Pakistan are still in with a chance for a place in the final, and I am sure they would want to redeem their pride. What better way to do so than a strong display against Malaysia?”
The coach added that despite the team's unbeaten run, much was left to achieve the target.