The national men’s hockey team settled for a good warm-up against Old Georgians HC with a 2-2 draw in their first match of the Britain tour on Sunday.
Though Old Georgians are a club side, they played with 10 Great Britain players.
National coach Arul Selvaraj was pleased with the result after his men played on the St Georges College artificial pitch.
It was Malaysia who looked good initially, grabbing a 2-0 lead through Najib Hassan (13th) and Shahril Saabah (41st). But Georgians equalised with goals in the 44th and 58th minutes.
“Even though we played against a club side, there were 10 Great Britain players who represented Old Georgians. So, I am proud of this achievement. Also, my players finally got a chance to play a competitive match after four-and-a-half-months of training online,” said Arul.
Georgians won five penalty corners, while Malaysia converted one of the two that Arul’s team managed to secure.
Seasoned defender Faiz Helmi Jali said: “After the warm-up match, I notice that we have to improve further in many departments, but it is to be expected because we played our first match together after more than four months.
“We hope to improve further in the next game, as the end target is to win our Test matches against Ireland,” said Faiz.
Malaysia will play club side Surbiton HC on Wednesday. The two Test matches against Ireland, on Oct 5 and 6, carry world ranking points.
The last encounter between Malaysia and Ireland was in 2019 at the Four Nations Invitational in Terrassa, Spain. Malaysia won 2-1.
The other eight matches, including two against France, are unofficial and do not carry ranking points. The Malaysia are ranked world No 11 while Ireland are 14.