Malaysia found a new goal-scoring star and sealed their status as Hockey World League Round One winners with an emphatic 5-0 win over Kazakhstan. Two goals from Hasliza Ali Noor and a goal apiece for Nuraini Rashid, Nadia Rahman and Adawiyah Mohamed saw the Malaysians emerge as unbeaten champions. The coach, Nubli Nasihin Ibrahim, had said before the final that his forwards were playing well, but even so he will have been delighted with the clinical finishing displayed by the team ranked 22nd in the world. Ibrahim will have been particularly pleased with the performance of Nuraini Rashid – this tournament saw her win her first international cap and she finished as the competition's top goal scorer, finding the net eight times.
Their opponents, Kazakhstan had enjoyed a good tournament to that point. They were also unbeaten going into the final, and had conceded only one goal to that point. They are ranked 11 places below Malaysia in the FIH World Rankings, and this win will have secured them both important ranking points as well as invaluable international experience. Both teams will now contest round two of the Hockey World League later in the cycle.
The second Hockey World League Round One competition has now started in Lithuania. Joining the host nation are Poland, Belarus and the Ukraine. This competition runs from today until 29 June.
The opening matches of the round robin competition see Belarus face Poland, while Ukraine takes on Lithuania.
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