Malaysia put on better show despite defeat

The Second Test match between Malaysia and Japan favoured the Japanese 4-3 but saw a much improved performance from Stephen van Huizen’s senior team on Sunday in Kakamigahara, located in southern Gifu Prefecture.

Malaysia’s goals were scored by Najmi Farizal Jazlan (18th, 24th) and Firhan Ashari (69th) while the Japanese replied from field goals through Ryo Ozawa (8th, 18th), Kenta Tanaka (12th) and Kazuma Murata in the 42nd minute.

The First Test ended in a 1-1 on Saturday. Prior to that, the Malaysians lost 5-1 and 3-1 respectively to the Japanese in two friendly matches.

The team will play two more friendly matches before wrapping up the Tour in preparation of the Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan, Pahang in August. The last time the seniors played against Japan was at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh and won 4-3.

“We started off quite slowly and conceded early goals. We were basically chasing the game but the boys kept on fighting and never gave up. It was a much better game compared to the previous matches. We had five penalty corners and we scored three goals off them,” said Van Huizen.

“This Tour has opened our eyes and the young boys had a good exposure. We have two more practice matches to go and we will take one game at a time,” Van Huizen added.

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