Ongoing World Cup might help Dharmaraj’s girls

KUALA LUMPUR: National women’s coach K. Dharmaraj feels there are positives and negatives which will effect his charges in the Indonesia Asian Games from the ongoing World Cup in London.

With the Games just 15 days away, Japan, China, India and South Korea are in the World Cup, and Dharmaraj said it might work against the teams’ mental and psychological preparations.

Malaysia are in Group A with China, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan while South Korea, India, Thailand, Kazakhstan and Indonesia make up Group B.

“Japan and China are in our group in Jakarta and even though they only played three games in the World Cup, and did not qualify for the quarter-finals, both will still feel the strains of playing at such a big stage.

“They will only have a few days of rest and light training when they return to their respective countries, before flying off to Indonesia.

“This might work against their players who were put under so much pressure to prepare for the World Cup.

“I believe it would be difficult for their players to peak again at the Asian Games,” said Dharmaraj.

Malaysia need to beat either Japan or China to reach the semi-finals. Hong Kong and Taiwan are not in the same league with Dharmaraj’s side.

“We will not be taking any team lightly. I believe we should be able to earn three points each against Hong Kong and Taiwan.

“If we can upset either one of the World Cup teams in our group, we will qualify for the semi-finals,” said Dharmaraj.

However, Asia’s representatives in the World Cup could be better prepared for the Asian Games as they played tough matches in London.

At the World Cup, Japan’s only win was the 2-1 success over New Zealand, but they finished last in their group following defeats to Australia (3-2) and Belgium (6-3)

China suffered 3-0 and 7-1 defeats to Italy and the Netherlands and drew 1-1 with South Korea.

“The fact that they played tough matches in London could be turned into a positive element by their coaches with the right approach.

“We are analysing videos of matches involving China and Japan and hopefully, we can come up with effective tactics,” Dharmaraj added.

Source: New Straits Times

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