By Jugjet Singh | BLOG | KUALA LUMPUR
As expected, the Malaysian women beat Thailand 6-0 to win gold in the Hockey Series Open at the Seng Kang Stadium yesterday (30 June).
But the unexpected was — 14-year-old Kirandeep Kaur scored her first goal of the tournament with a well placed shot in the 30th minute.
Kirandeep, who played in every match here in her maiden tournament with the senior side, was given this golden opportunity by coach K. Dharmaraj and she did not disappoint.
However, the irony is that Kirandeep was not good enough for Kuala Lumpur coach A. Kannagi, who dropped her from the National Under-16 earlier this year.
But Dharmaraj saw differently, and the budding youngster who did not even play with the juniors before, was drafted to play for the seniors.
The other goals were scored by Fatin Shafika Shukri (second, fifth), Surizan Awang Noh (eighth), Nuraini Rashid (51st) and Nur Amirah Shakirah (56th).
Team manager Lailin Abu Hassan, a former international himself said: “We beat Thailand 4-0 in the pool and scored two extra goals against them in the final to indicate progress among the players.
“And we also gave more time to the youngsters to play in the final, and this paid off when Kirandeep scored her first international goal.
“With time and more matches she became confident and scored in the final. In the long run, blooding youth will benefit the country.”
Dharmaraj fielded two 17-year-olds and one 14-year-old in the Open.
Nuramirah Zulkifli (Amira) has 16 caps, Nurmaizatulhanim Syafi 17 caps, and Kirandeep Kaur played in all five pool matches as well as the final to earn her maiden caps.
The article first appeared at Jugjet World of Field Hockey on 1 July 2018. See here.