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How Chua Boon Huat played a part in arguably the greatest play-off match in English hockey

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It’s been four years.

That’s how fast time flies, while we pick ourselves and continue pushing boundaries in our daily lives. So much has happened in Malaysian sports, since we lost arguably one of the most iconic hockey player this country has ever produced, Chua Boon Huat. But memories of his contributions and legacy, continue to accompany us till today.

Local hockey fans will have plenty to remember of him, given that he amassed over 321 caps for the Speedy Tigers but Chua Boon Huat also played a role, albeit a minor one, in a game that has been dubbed as the ‘greatest play-off match’ by The Telegraph.

Photo Credit: YouTube

Chua’s first foreign stint arrived in 2002, when he joined Red and White Munich in the German Hockey League, after impressing for Malaysia at the Hockey World Cup and the Asian Games. It was a short three-month stint, but he set the league alight by scoring seven goals in nine matches – which certainly did not go unnoticed.

“The German Bundesliga Club Red & White Munich and their manager Hans Baumgartner requested Chua to play for their club in the German Bundesliga! After a few matches Chua was already known amongst German top-class teams as one of the most dangerous strikers,” former Malaysian hockey boss Paul Lissek told renowned journalist Satwant Singh Dhaliwal back in 2013.

A few years later, Chua signed for Teddington HC in England’s National Hockey League, where all the drama unfolded in 2005. Chua’s new team were a regular fixture in the top flight but they found themselves in a horrible situation on the league standings after a bad start to the season. Thankfully, their decision to alter the coaching set-up midway through the season, coupled with the return of Jason Laslett and the signing of Chua Boon Huat helped them secure a relegation play-off fixture against East Grinstead.

The Division Two champions were visibly the in-form team, heading into the two-match play-off tie. However, spurred on by Chua Boon Huat, Teddington were 3-0 up at one point of their first match against East Grinstead. Chua bagged two-goals in that temporary blitzkrieg. Unfortunately for Teddington, their counterparts bounced back in style to seal a 6-4 win.

In the second game, Teddington showcased their superiority in the early stages of the game, yet again. They were 4-0 ahead at one point, which meant 8-6 on aggregate, with only 15 minutes left on the clock. But the turning point of the game was undoubtedly Mark Williamson’s yellow card, with nine minutes left to be played. East Grinstead capitalized on their numerical advantage and smashed in two goals to make 8-8 on aggregate and drag the game into extra-time.

But the Division Two champs turned on the style and completely dominated the extra time period, before eventually finding the winner through Kwan Browne, who effectively took East Grinstead into the top flight.

Photo Credit: Ammboi.com

“That is still my favourite moment. The way it was done was just brilliant. We just managed to find a gap back to take the game into overtime with two late goals and eventually found the penalty corner winner. For me personally, I scored six of them and it was a really nice occasion. The best thing about it is that East Grinstead are now one of the top teams in Europe,” Browne told Telegraph Sport back in 2014, over nine years after the match.

No one saw it coming. The topsy-turvy nature of the game was absolutely unprecedented and caught everyone by surprise. Even more so, when you consider that Teddington had a big lead in both matches – a 3-0 lead in the first one before they lost 6-4 and a 4-0 lead in the second one before eventually losing the tie 9-8 on aggregate.

The match didn’t end too well for Chua Boon Huat and his Teddington teammates as they have failed to gain promotion into the top flight since that fateful match. However, Chua’s impact in the second half of that season as well as his performance in the final left a long-lasting impression amongst fans of the club that was formed way back in 1871.

Photo Credit: The Star

Two years later, Chua received another offer to play for Teddington, who were now playing in the Eastern Conference. However, it failed to materialize, with Malaysia Hockey Confederation (MHC) deciding that all national team players should remain in the country to prepare for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup as well as the Olympic qualifiers.

When he passed away in 2013, English hockey star Ben Hawes posted a tribute on social media –  acknowledging the impact Chua had during his short stint with Teddington. “Sad to hear of Chua Boon Huat’s passing. A great player for Malaysia (and Teddington). Best wishes to family and friends,” he said.

As I said, it’s been four years. But every single time our Speedy Tigers get on the field, you can’t help but picture his iconic ponytail gliding around, urging our boys forward.

Rest in peace, Chua. You are still missed.

HockeyKL 2017

Our main focus? Winning gold at the KL SEA Games – national hockey coach Stephen Van Huizen

Malaysian men’s hockey team have got themselves a packed schedule starting next month.

Aside from the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games next month, the men’s hockey team will be training hard for three upcoming tournaments — the Asia Cup in October, the 2018 World Cup, and the Commonwealth Games next year.

Head coach Stephen Van Huizen promises that the hockey squad won’t go easy at the Asia Cup tournament, even though they have already qualified for the 2018 Men’s Hockey World Cup set to take place in Bhubaneswar, India next year.

Malaysia qualified for the 2018 World Cup after outclassing India in a 3-2 win in the quarter-final match at the Hockey World League Semifinal Round in June.

According to men’s hockey national coach Stephen Van Huizen, the hockey squad will still go all out in the Asia Cup bout in Dhaka, since it will help to boost their rankings.

“We take every tournament seriously. The Asia Cup is just as important as any other tournament, because it gives us the chance to earn points to boost our world ranking.” the coach explained to HMetro.

“The only difference is that there will be lesser pressure on us, since we have already qualified for the crucial tournament, which is the 2018 World Cup in India.” he added.

Aside from Malaysia, other countries that will be competing in the Asia Cup are hosts Bangladesh, India, Japan, South Korea, Oman, and China.

“However, I will be rotating the players for the Asia Cup. I might bring with me a different set of players because it’s not compulsory for us to win to advance into the world cup.”

According to the head coach, the squad’s main priority at the moment is to win gold at the SEA Games, which is happening in less than 30 days.

Hockey

#Hockey: Tigress to face Scotland after enduring fourth defeat at HWL

Malaysia’s national women’ hockey team had to concede to a frustrating run at the Women’s World Hockey League in Belgium.

The Tigress finished at the bottom of Group B after they failed to clinch victory against New Zealand, who beat Malaysia 1-0. As a result, they will not be advancing into the quarterfinal at the 2017 Hockey World League.

This defeat marks the fourth consecutive defeat for the Tigress, under coach Muhammad Dharmaraj Abdullah.

However, the Tigress put up a brave fight against The Black Sticks Women, even though the latter dominated the most part of the game.

Photo: Photosport

Despite wasting a lot of good chances, New Zealand managed to net one goal via Olivia Merry, which was enough to get them through to the next round.

New Zeland had a whopping 33 shots at goal and 11 penalty corners but were only able to convert one against Malaysia.

“I thought we were pretty disappointing today. Malaysia put us under pressure but we created plenty of goal shots and corners, we just weren’t clinical enough,” New Zealand’s head coach Mark Hager said.

Malaysia will be going up against Scotland on Thursday (29 June) to battle it out for the 9th/10th place at the 2017 Hockey World League in Belgium.

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Tigress will meet Belgium this Saturday after second consecutive defeat

Malaysia’s national women hockey team suffered a second defeat at the 2017 Hockey World League semi-finals last night.

Spain overpowered team Malaysia as they scored three goals at the Fallon Stadium in Brussels in the Group B fixture.

Malaysia started out strong as they raked in their first goal at the third minute when Siti Noor Amarina Ruhani converted a penalty corner.

The incited Spain to get more aggressive in attack, and they got even at the 28th minute when Carola Salvatella scored a field goal.

Spain relentlessly attacked and went on to score two more goals via Lola Riera on the 31st and 36th minute, bringing the score up to 3-1.

 

Malaysia, who are currently at the bottom of Pool B, will be facing hosts Belgium in the next fixture.

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Malaysia qualifies for 2018 World Cup after sinking India

Malaysia defeated India 2-3 in the Hockey World league quarter-final fixture last night to book their ticket to the 2018 World Cup.

Razie Rahim scored twice as Malaysia sink India quarter-final clash and made it to the last four. Tengku Tajuddin also got his name on the score sheet as he contributed to the three goals scored.

Razie Rahim also earned a spot in the top 5 goalscorers of the tournament, having scored a total of five goals for Malaysia so far. His total of five goals are tied with Engalnd’s Barry Middleton, Netherland’s Mirco Pruijser, and India’s Akashdeep Singh.

In the Hockey World League semi-finals, Malaysia will take on world no. 1 Argentina, while England will go up against Netherlands.

Malaysia previously lost 5-2 to the South Americans in the Pool A fixture, and the Tigers will be determined to make amends for it this time around.

Pakistan and India will be battling it out for the 5th to 8th place deciders, while Canada will take on China in the similar category.

 

Hockey

#Hockey: Malaysia 5-1 China: All goals & highlights

Malaysia clinched a crucial victory against China at the Hero Hockey World League Semi-Final (group A) fixture in London last night.

Malaysia started out strong in the first half, leading 4-0, thanks to goals from Faizal Saari, Najmi Jazlan, and a brace by Razie Rahim.

In the second half, China retaliated with Du Talake who converted their penalty into a goal.

Eventually, Malaysia’s Fitri Saari found the back of the net on the 51st minute and brought the score up to 5-1.

Malaysia will face India in the quarter finals of the HERO Hockey World League 2017 Semi Finals tomorrow (22nd June) at 10.30 pm.

Hockey

#Hockey: Malaysia outclass China 1-5 in London

Malaysia were given a much needed boost at the Hockey World League semi-finals as they emerged victorious during their clash against China yesterday.

Malaysia were already off to a promising start, they were leading 4-0 in the first half with goals from Faizal Saari, Najmi Jazlan, and a brace by Razie Rahim.

In the second half, China retaliated with one goal from Du Talake at the 43rd minute. But aside from that goal, China failed to stop Malaysia as Fitri Saari found the back of the net on the 51st minute and brought the score up to 5-1.

Malaysia will face India in the quarter finals of the HERO Hockey World League 2017 Semi Finals.

Photo: MHC

Prior to this, Malaysia suffered two disappointing losses in Group A, one to Argentina (5-2) and the other to England (7-3).

They finally clinched a win during their clash against South Korea when defender Razie Rahim found the back of the net at the 35th minute from the penalty corner, and it looks they are determined to keep the winning momentum going.

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#Hockey: Malaysia gear up for China clash after sinking South Korea

Malaysia secured a crucial and much-needed win against South Korea at the Hockey World League 2017 semi-final in London yesterday.

After suffering two disappointing losses in Group A, one to Argentina (5-2) and the other to England (7-3), Malaysia needed was in a do-or-die clash against South Korea, they had to win if they wanted to keep their run going in the tournament.

Things took a positive turn for Malaysia as they successfully defeated South Korea 0-1 after Razie Rahim found the back of the net at the 35th minute, and we’re now one step closer to making the 2018 World Cup.

Photo: MHC

Armed with fresh victory and renewed confidence, Malaysia will be facing China tonight in another crucial bout to boost our chances of making it to the 2018 World Cup. The match will take place at 1 am MYT at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London.

This match against China will also wrap up the group fixtures at the Hero Hockey World League 2017 semi-final as the tournament advances into the quarter finals.

In another remaining Group A fixture, England will be taking on Korea. India will go up against Netherlands, while Scotland will be meeting Canada in the Group B fixtures.

Hockey

Hockey World League semi-finals: Malaysia ready to face world no. 1 Argentina

Malaysia’s national hockey team are currently in London to play in the Hockey World League semi-finals, with World Cup qualification places up for grabs.

Malaysia, grouped together in Pool A with Argentina, South Korea, and England, and China will commence the first round of the World Hockey League Semi-Finals today.

Our national hockey team is scheduled to up against Argentina tonight at the Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre at 8 pm.

Here are all the fixtures involving Malaysia for the World Hockey League Semi-Finals that will be happening from June 15th until June 25 in London.

The other countries grouped together in Pool B are Pakistan, India, Canada, Scotland, and Netherlands.

Malaysia are in for a tough battle as Argentina are fresh from their victory after defeating South Korea 2-1 yesterday.

Armed with dangerous strikers and a lethal penalty expert, Gonzalo Peillat, the Argentines are also currently ranked world no.1.

Peillat scored two of their four penalty corners, and national coach Stephen Van Huizen admits that Malaysia have to beware of Peillat.

“He scored two of the four penalty corners they earned. So, we’ll have to watch out for his powerful flicks.” the coach told reporters.

“The Argentina players are not happy with today’s result because they missed a number of sitters.

“They will definitely want to bounce back and play much better against us. So, we have to be ready for them.

“I hope my players can settle down fast and play well.” The Star quoted the coach as saying.

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2017 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup: What’s going on with the Speedy Tigers?

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Malaysia’s fortunes at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup went from bad to worse yesterday after they succumbed to their third defeat of the tournament, losing 0-1 to New Zealand in what was a rather frustrating affair.

Despite introducing Hafizuddin Othman in place of S. Kumar in between their sticks, Malaysia were unable to turn on the style as New Zealand sealed a narrow win, courtesy of Kane Russell’s 25th minute goal.

Justification?

According to Van Huizen, his men deserved all three points against the Kiwis. “When you look at the result, the graph might show a downward trend. But for me, the last two matches have been good and showed that my men played their best,” he was quoted as saying by The Star.

“We failed to take our chances … that was the difference. Credit to the Kiwis for their defensive play. We have two more matches to go, we will try to get it right,” he added.

Where are the goals?

But the bigger concern comes in the form of Malaysia’s inability to find the back of the net. Across all four matches that the Speedy Tigers have been involved in thus far, they’ve only scored a total of two goals. Comparatively, they’ve conceded 9 goals in four matches, including the six they let in against Australia, earlier this week. Against New Zealand, Stephen van Huizen’s men were guilty of not converting any of their seven penalty corners during the match.

The concern elevates to a higher level when you juxtapose their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup form to the fact that they were impressive in two test matches against the Kiwis, before the tournament. Van Huizen’s charges won the first one 8-2, before drawing the second one 3-3.

What’s next?

The 0-1 defeat against New Zealand effectively ended Malaysia’s hopes of sneaking into the 3rd-4th classification match, despite having one more match to play against India on Friday. Regardless of the outcome of that clash, Malaysia will now compete against Japan in the 5th-6th classification match on Saturday.