KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s women squad routed Cambodia 14-1 in their opening Group B match of the 2022 Asian Cup indoor hockey championships in Bangkok today.

In the match at the Huamark Indoor Stadium, the squad coached by Mohd Rodhanizam Mat Radzi did not take long to go on a scoring spree as they led 9-1 at half-time.

Malaysia’s ace Nuraini Abdul Rashid was the top scorer with four goals, from penalty corner conversions in the 13th, 14th, 15th and 36th minutes.

Putri Nur Batrisyia Nor Nawawi and Fazilla Sylvester Silin contributed a hattrick each from field goals, with Putri Nur Batrisyia scoring in the fourth, 15th and 39th minutes, and Fazilla Sylvester in the 11th, 33rd and 35th minutes.

The others who got their names on the score sheet are Nur Aisyah Yaacob with a field goal in the first minute and penalty corner shot in the 27th minute, and Raja Norsharina Raja Shabuddin and Qasidah Najwa Muhammad Halimi with a field goal each in the third and 10th minutes.

Cambodia scored a consolation goal from Seng Sorphorn’s field effort at the end of the first half.

Mohd Rodhanizam said the players’ high team spirit was the key to their big win.

“After scoring many goals for a comfortable lead, we made several tactical changes to prepare for our next match. I am proud of my players for giving their best,” he said in a short statement to reporters via WhatsApp.

Malaysia, ranked 33rd in the world, will play favourites and world number 17 Thailand on Wednesday before taking on world number 45 Singapore in the last group match on Friday.

Meanwhile, in the men’s competition being played on a single-round league, Malaysia also started on the right footing by beating Singapore 6-0 at the same venue.

The goals came from Faridzul Afiq Mohd’s field goal in the 16th minute and penalty corner in the 23rd minute, Razali Mohd Hazemi’s penalty corner shot (25th minute) and three field goals by Muhammad Aslam Mohamed Hanafiah (29th minute), Shello Silverius (32nd minute) and Norsyafiq Sumantri (36th minute).

“Overall we played well although we were capable of doing better. The opening match is always difficult but the players coped well. We created plenty of scoring chances but lacked finishing. We will rectify our mistakes,” said coach Muhamad Amin Rahim.

The men’s squad will play Taiwan tomorrow. - Bernama