KUALA LUMPUR: The National Men’s Junior hockey squad thrashed Bangladesh 5-1 in their second Group B encounter at the 2023 Asian Junior Cup competition in Salalah, Oman, yesterday.

In the match played at the Sultan Qaboos Youth Complex, the National squad under head coach Muhamad Amin Rahim started the match on an aggressive note and took the lead by the eighth minute through a field goal by Shafiq Ikhmal Daniel Suzaini before Shahmie Irfan Suhaimi made it 2-0 in the 13th minute off a penalty corner strike.

Despite leading 2-0, the youngsters pressed on and two minutes later added the third when Muhammad Syamim Naim Abd Hamid struck from another penalty before Bangladesh pulled one back through Md Abdullah.

However, Shahmie Irfan restored the advantage in the 43rd minute before completing his hattrick in the 59th minute to make it 5-1.

Speaking of the performance of his boys in the match, Muhamad Amin said it was a disciplined performance by his charges since they played according to the strategy that was practiced.

“The boys were able to stick to the game plan right from the start and our penalty corner conversion rate was also satisfying. We had seven penalty corners and we converted three, its a good percentage. However, we conceded one goal due to a lack of concentration. I hope it will not happen again,“ he said in a video clip released by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC).

Two days ago (May 23), the National juniors opened their campaign in emphatic fashion by whipping Uzbekistan 8-1.

Malaysia will probably face their toughest opponent when taking on South Korea on May 27 before closing their Group B campaign against the host country, Oman on May 30.

The top two teams will advance to the semifinals.

Malaysia had shocked the world hockey fraternity in 2012 by winning the Asian Junior Cup after beating Pakistan 2-1 at the Bukit Serindit Hockey Stadium in Melaka to end a 20-year wait for the title. -Bernama

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