June 16, 2011
Malaysia Eyeing for India's scalp at the FIP Polo
World Cup - Zone D playoffs being played in Malaysia.
Click here for more images from the FIP Polo World Cup Zone D
PEKAN (JUNE 16 2011): After registering morale boosting wins
over their respective opponents in their opening matches ,
Malaysia and India go into the fray tomorrow with an eye on a
top four finish which will secure them a place in
Asian-Australasian-African Polo Championships the semi-finals.
Malaysia registered a 9-8 win over New Zealand, runners-up at
the last championships, while India upset pre-tournament
favourites Australia 5-1/2 - 5 to set up this thriller at the
Royal Pahang Polo Grounds in Pekan, Pahang.
The championships also serve as the Zone D Qualifier for the
2011 FIP Polo World Cup Finals to be held in San Luis, Argentina
from Oct 11-25. The top three teams from Zone D will qualify for
Malaysia skipper Shaik Reismann was quick to point out that the
Malaysians are not "getting carried away" by the win over the
Kiwis nor being "over confident" against the Indians.
"It is one match at a time for us. The battle has just begun and
we need to push up a gear for the match against India. We face a
very tough match against the experienced Indians," said Reismann,
who is a qualified horseman and horse dentist.
"But we are motivated after the win over New Zealand. We got a
job to do and we will go out and display the same against
India...discipline, teamwork and team spirit. We have watched
India play and know their strength and weaknesses.
"We have our feet firmly on the ground and will be fully focused
for the India match. Malaysia is also aware of India's Samir (Suhag)."
Suhag (Handicap 5), notched four goals against Australia is the
ace in the Indian pack.
Just like Malaysia. India's morale is sky high after their win
over the Australians. India team manager Capt Vikram Singh
Rathore (Rtd) said it was India's match plan that worked well
and brought them victory over the Aussies.
"Australia lost because there was no man to man marking. We
played the man first and then the ball. Malaysia has an ace in
Huzaini Yunos and New Zealand paid the price for not marking
him. Their No 4 (Gary Vickers) did not mark Huzaini. New
Zealand's marking was not what should have been. We will not
allow that to happen to us," said Vikram.
"As for the heat and humidity it is the same for all teams.
However, Malaysia, with home-ground advantage have slight edge
over others. They (Malaysia) look good on the ground and play as
a team. Their team performance was good."
India have played in two previous FIP Polo World Cup Finals – in
1995 and 2001. Their best so far was a fifth-placing in 1995.
For this year's Qualifier, Vikram said India's first target is
to make the top four and take off from there for a top three
finish which will give them the ticket to Argentina.
Meanwhile, in another match, New Zealand will take on Australia
in a do or die encounter to stay in contention.
Fixtures (Friday June 17)
Malaysia vs India
Australia vs New Zealand
(Both matches at Royal Pahang Polo Grounds, Pekan)