Shaky starts for Singapore men's and women's hockey teams

Singapore's Toh Limin walking past her jubilant Malaysian opponents after the women's hockey team was hammered 7-0 in their SEA Games opener at Sengkang hockey stadium on June 6, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Singapore's Toh Limin walking past her jubilant Malaysian opponents after the women's hockey team was hammered 7-0 in their SEA Games opener at Sengkang hockey stadium on June 6, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - The Singapore men's and women's hockey did not enjoy the best of starts at the SEA Games.

The women's team were hammered 7-0 by Malaysia in their opening game while the men were stunned 1-1 by unfancied Myanmar in front of a capacity crowd of 3,200 at Sengkang Hockey Stadium on Saturday evening.

In a stuttering performance, the Malaysians took full advantage of Singapore's jittery defence to power home four goals through Mohamad Juliani, Hanis Nadia Onna, Mohamed Rabiatul and S. Fazilla before half-time.

Hanis, Noh Surizan and Noor H. Ali added three more goals after the break to wrap up the game.

 Singapore women's national coach Sunil Prasad said: "The girls were too excited by the massive crowd and their lack of international experience showed. They were frozen and elite teams like the Malaysians will take advantage of that.

"But the second-half was better in terms of marking and defense but the improvement came too late."

 The men's fixture saw Singapore and Myanmar cancel each other out after a tense match.

Despite having just 37 per cent possession in the first-half, Myanmar drew first blood with Zaw Hein Min scoring in the 26th minute and was a threat with their speed and high balls.

Singapore fought back against the spirited Myanmarese and managed to draw level when forward Silas Abdul Razak equalised in the 35th minute.

 Singapore men's captain Enrico Marican said: "We were lacking in terms of clinical finishing and that cost us after the many chances we had. But it is our first match and we have to make up for that result with better performances against other opponents, especially Malaysia."

 Myanmar's Pakistani coach Akhlaq M. praised his men for upsetting the hosts, saying: "Our team may lack individual skills and technical ability but we played to our strengths and played effective modern hockey against Singapore."

ljeremy@sph.com.sg

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