KUALA LUMPUR: National midfielder Mohamad Ashran Hamsani is upbeat about Malaysia’s chances of inflicting pain on Spain when the two teams meet in a crucial decider for a place in the quarter-finals of the 2023 Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar, India on Sunday (Jan 22).

He based this on the Speedy Tigers’ encouraging display despite their 3-2 loss to world number eight Spain in a warm-up match prior to the start of the World Cup.

“We played against them in the warm-up match and we know a little bit about their style of play.

“But what is important now is to come up with a game plan for Sunday’s match,” he said in a video clip the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) shared with the media today.

Mohamad Ashran also issued a rallying call to his teammates to rise to the occasion.

“We will discuss things like discipline, focus and cutting down errors as well as ensure we work on improving our offensive and defensive tactics,” he said.

Yesterday, world number nine Malaysia, under the guidance of head coach A. Arul Selvaraj, edged New Zealand 3-2 in their last Group C match.

It was Malaysia’s second win after a similar 3-2 over Chile, thus putting the Speedy Tigers in second spot behind the Netherlands in Group C.

Malaysia have a dismal record against Spain, having beaten them just three times and drawn twice in 18 meetings. - Bernama