PHNOM PENH: The national women’s hockey team are on the right track to clinch gold after confirming their place in the final by defeating Thailand 3-0 in their third match of the SEA Games single-round league at the Morodok Techno National Stadium hockey field. here, today.

In the action, Thailand’s strong early opposition game saw the Malaysian Tigress squad deadlocked in the first quarter before finally opening their account in the 23rd minute through Khairunnisa Ayuni Mohd Sharuddin’s penalty corner.

The goal changed the game immediately as Malaysia managed to score their second and third goals within three minutes, through Fatin Shafika Mohd Sukri’s field goal in the 26th minute and Nuraini Abdul Rashid’s penalty corner goal in the 29th minute.

The scoreline remained 3-0 until full-time for the third consecutive victory for the squad coached by Mohd Nasihin Nubli Ibrahim in the league competition ahead of their final match against Indonesia tomorrow.

Nasihin said his team showed high commitment against Thailand by performing well despite the scorching sun and sweltering heat.

“The players played according to the plan given to them, however, there was a moment when they started to lack focus and caused the opposing team to attack.

“Overall I applaud the players’ efforts, but I demand more from them. Even though we have qualified for the final, we will still focus on the match against Indonesia, just like before and we will still respect whoever we meet,” he said.

Currently, only Malaysia have qualified for the final by collecting nine points to sit top after three matches, while Thailand are in second place with six points and Indonesia third after collecting two points.

Meanwhile, Singapore, who have just played two matches, are in fourth with one point, while Cambodia are bottom after only collecting one point from three matches.

The two teams that finish top of the league qualify for the final.

Earlier in the morning, Malaysia also booked a slot in the final of the men’s competition after routing Thailand 5-0 in their third match of the league round at the same venue. – Bernama