Singapore (2 Nov, 2016): Malaysia Tigress stunned defending champions and World No 10 Japan 2-0 today in one of the biggest upsets the Asian Women Champions Trophy has seen in four days of the competition in Singapore .
Siti Ruhani started the damage on the Japanese with a 38th penalty corner goal and Nuraini Rashid added to the Japanese misery a minute later by netting a field goal. The victory was a tremendous boost to Malaysia head coach K.Dharmaraj’s Malaysia Tigress , ranked world No21, preparation towards the World League Round 2 in Kuala Lumpur in January.
With this defeat,Japan’s chances of rolling into the final slowed down. They will need to beat Korea on Friday to salvage any slim hopes of qualifying for the final. India leads the table standings on seven points with a game in hand against China on Friday. The Chinese defeated Korea 2-0 today to take second spot in the standings.
“We have been savouring this kind of win here since the first day,” said Dharmaraj. “They have been playing very well in all matches. Against Korea they got nervous in the first half but got the energy and courage back to reduce the deficit 2-3 but allowed Korea to win 5-2 with late goals.”
“Against China we took the lead and held them to a 1-1 score until the final minutes when they scored two quick goals in three minutes. The team also played well against India in the 0-2 defeat,” added Dharmaraj.
He was happy with the performance of MalaysiaTigress considering the Malaysians were up against formidable oppositions who competed in the Rio Olympics recently.
“Though we finished last in the five-team WACT, we gave a good account of ourselves. I am really proud of this team but there is a lot of room for improvement before we go into the World League Round 2. There is definitely a lot of work to be done once we return home.”
Malaysia Tigress have never beaten Japan since 2012.
China, ranked world No 8, continued their winning ways with a 2-0 win over the Koreans, ranked No 9 in the world. A brace from Zhang Jinrong in the 29th and 40thminutes increased China’s hopes of advancing to Nov 6 final.