Malaysia is already looking ahead and preparing for the next Pool C match against Chile at the Birsa Munda Stadium tomorrow. They have put the opening match loss behind them and are quickly focusing on the critical next match.
Coach Arul Selvaraj has identified mistakes that need to be urgently corrected as Malaysia prepare to face Chile in a must-win tie to keep their hopes of progressing past the preliminary round for the first time since 2002.
Malaysia lost their opening match 4-0 against the Dutch, who put Arul’s charges to the sword from the beginning. The team put up a strong fight but the Dutch, ranked third in the world, would throw everything they had into the game to secure a winning start.
“Some improvements we must make is that players must take on the responsibility to correct individual mistakes. There were mistakes when the ball carrier was under pressure and the lack of support for the ball carrier,” said Arul.
“Most of the mistakes we made against the Netherlands were defensive, especially in one-versus-one situations and defensive marking, as well as body position in the lower half. We need to emphasise more on this.”
Malaysia, ranked number 11 in the world, will face 32nd-ranked Chile at the same venue tomorrow aiming for no less than a victory. Chile opened their accounts yesterday with a 3-1 defeat against world number 9 ranked New Zealand.
“Against Chile, of course, we will change a bit the shape of our playing positions for us to go for the win,” said Arul.