KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysian hockey foward, Faizal Saari has set his dream to play in the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Faizal, through the International Hockey Federation (FIH), said the Malaysian team must prove that they can play better hockey and win the Hockey World League (HWL) semifinal in Antwerp, Belgium.
“I am very happy to deliver the first goal for the Malaysian team, it is for my country, team and myself. It is important to get a first win in a tournament because from there, we can gain confidence for the next match,” he told the FIH.
The national hockey squad kicked off the HWL semifinal campaign with a win by beating China 3-2 in a Group B opening match.
Malaysia took the lead through a brilliant strike by Faizal from a tight angle in the 18th minute before Muhammad Haziq Shamsul added a second goal on the stroke of half time.
Malaysia extended their advantage to 3-1 in the final quarter via a penalty corner from team captain Muhammad Razie Abd Rahim.
With Sunday’s victory, Malaysia which was drawn in Group B with China, Ireland, Belgium and Great Britain, picked up three points.
Malaysia is scheduled to meet Ireland on June 25, Belgium on June 26 and England on June 28.
Malaysia, ranked World Number 12, needs to finish among the top three teams in the competition to qualify for next year’s Olympic Games. – BERNAMA