Kuala Lumpur (20 January, 2017): Singapore created the biggest upset after seven days of action in the Women Hockey World League Round 2 by carving a 4-1 victory over World No 33 Kazakhstan in the 5-8th classification match at the Tun Razak Stadium on Friday.
It was the Singaporeans, placed 43 in the FIH Hero World Rankings, maiden victory in the tournament after finishing bottom of Pool A. They lost to Thailand (0-4), Wales (0-7) and Italy (0-9) in the preliminary round. And in the quarterfinals, Ireland registered a 10-0 victory over Singapore.
Speaking after today’s win, Singapore head coach David Viner, said: “It was a great victory by the girls who gave their best today. We got our momentum going late in the tournament but nevertheless it was a memorable win for us. The players are all fired up to end the tournament in fifth place now and this has been a good turn around.”
Tiffany Ong scored a double (29th and 33rd minutes) for Singapore w hile Ong Yan Ting (3rd) and Toh Li Man (9th) added to Kazakhstan’s woes. Algerim Mahanova scored for Kazakhstan in the 55th minute via a field goal.
The Singaporeans will now go head to head against Thailand in the playoff for 5-6th placing while Hong Kong and Kazakhstan battle in the 7-8th play-off match on Sunday.
Known for their hard work, individual skills and a high level of discipline, the Thais, who are placed 31 in the FIH Hero World Rankings, defeated Hong Kong (WR: 37) in the 5-8th classification matches today.
The Thailand and Hong Kong match was hotly contested in the early stages before the Thais capitalised scored the first goal from a penalty corner in the 7th minute by Praphatson Khuilang who netted her second goal in tournament.
However, it was only in the second half that Thailand upped the ante and increased the advantage to 3-0 with goals from team captain Tikhamporn Sakunpithak in the 37th minute via open play and Kornkanok Sanpoung five minutes from time.
“We went in with high hopes of winning this match. Our defeat against Malaysia in the quarter-finals had inspired all the players to go out there and make amends. Now we aim to at least finish fifth in the tournament,” said Thailand team captain Tikhamporn.
Hong Kong captain, I Ka Lo, said the tournament has been a good learning experience for the younger players in the squad who will form the backbone of the Hong Kong team in future.
“There are a lot of positives here for the team. We are not really looking at the results. It does not matter by how many goals we lost as we have had a good share of our opportunities to score in every match but squandered. It has been a good balance of attacking and defending in all matches,” said the 28-year-old physical education teacher.
“We created chances from penalty corners today. So it was not as bad as what it looks like. Perhaps we might be lucky against Kazakhstan on Sunday,” she added.
The action returns on Saturday (21 January, 2017) with the semi-finals matches involving Ireland-Wales and Malaysia-Italy. The top two teams will qualify for the Hockey World League Semi-finals phase.
Results – 5-8th Classification matches: Thailand 3 Hong Kong 0; Singapore 4 Kazakhstan 1.
Saturday (21 January, 2017): Semi-finals: Ireland v Wales (6.15pm); Malaysia v Italy (8.30pm).