KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia lost to world hockey giant Argentina 2-5 in the first round of the Hockey World League semifinals in London this morning.
The Malaysian Tigers under coach Stephen van Huizen drew 2-2 in the early part of the game before the Rio Olympic gold medallists overpowered them with three more goals to clinch the win.
Gonzalo Peillat paved the way for Argentina in the fourth minute through a penalty corner but Muhammad Shahril Saabah countered to even the score for Malaysia three minutes later.
While Peillat struck again to collect another point through a penalty corner in the 11th minute, Malaysia continued to display brilliance through national striker Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abdul Jalil with another goal through a penalty corner in the 18th minute.
However, Malaysia’s exuberance was short-lived as Peillat slotted in two more goals for Argentina through a penalty corner in the 40th and 47th minute before Facundo Callioni sealed his world number one team’s victory in the game two minutes later.
Malaysia ranked 14th in the world and is in Pool A will meet England at 11pm Malaysia time tonight and South Korea on June 20 as well as China on June 21.
Only four teams will advance to the quarterfinals of the hockey world league semifinals to qualify for the Hockey World Cup in 2018.
The 2018 hockey world cup to be held in December next year in India is the 14th edition since its introduction.