JAKARTA: The national hockey team will need time to reflect on their final loss to Japan in the Asian Games and decide what their future undertaking will be.
Malaysian lead 4-1 and 5-3 at one stage capitulated in the fourth quarter and allowed Japan to draw level at 6-6 and earn a penalty shootout. In the shootout, they won 3-1 to take their first ever gold medal.
National coach Stephen van Huizen said there is no telling what the future will be.
“The players are downcast and will need time to recover. They will reflect on this and some senior players may decide to quit. Nothing is certain. All of us will have to look at what has happened and make a decision,” he said.
“This a big blow and we can only blame ourselves for the defeat. We had the game in the bag but let it slip away.
“There are many factors but suffice to say we played hard and wanted to win very much. You can see the players gave their everything. In the end, we came up short,” he said.
Now the Malaysians like all other Asian teams other than Japan must go through the Olympic qualifiers to make the Tokyo Games in 2020.
The Malaysians have the Asian Champions trophy in October and then the World Cup in India in December.
But Stephen said that the planning will have to wait for the post-mortem and then look ahead.
”The time is not right to reflect on the coming events as yet,” he said