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Win Brings Stomach Relief for Chinese Taipei (31/07/2011)

Win Brings Stomach Relief for Chinese Taipei (31/07/2011)

Oman vs Chinese Taipei (5th / 6th classification)

Half time: 0-2
Full time: 2-3

By Eddie dos Passos/HKHA

Stomach cramps in the Chinese Taipei camp failed to stop them from taking fifth place in the classification stages when they edged out Oman in a last grasp 3-2 win at King’s Park.

Chinese Taipei coach Tsai Yi Ming claimed the domino effect dispirited the team and that their game dropped after Lin Cheng Chang, Feng Shih Jung and captain Hu Chun Che suffered stomach pain from a previous night’s outing after eating the wrong thing.

“I am not sure what really happened all I do know is they went out and ate something that did not agree with their stomachs,” Tsai said.  “Our game was certainly affected by the stomach issue.  We could only do our best and get on with our game.” 

Further the hot and sunny weather at King’s Park, certainly did not help their cause as the players all struggled to adapt to the hot conditions which was eased in parts, thanks to a cool wind blowing through the Wylie Road complex. 

Despite the early set back and inconveniences, his team picked up the tempo and began to play their usual passing game and was rewarded when they scored through a 12th minute Chang Chia Ming field-goal. 

Hu seemed to have no issue with his stomach problems as he went on to score two goals, in the 31st and 59th minutes.

“I know they were all feeling under the weather (stomach problems) but their spirit held well as they continued to fight for every ball as best they could,” Tsai said.

Tsai said the fifth placing was little compensation for all the hard work his team had put into this tournament.

But the value from the entire tournament had injected a new outlook for many of his players including himself, although they were to collect the Top Scorer’s Award for Tseng Fu Yuan’s five goal tally.

“This tournament was very good for me as a coach.  It was a good learning experience and I would take it back to Taipei and put it to good use as it will certainly help for the future development of Chinese Taipei hockey,” said Tsai, whose side previously won the inaugural event and were third at the last tournament.

Tsai said his team and himself had thoroughly enjoyed their experience in Hong Kong and cited that the S.A.R. was a shopping paradise.

“My players are always going out when they are not training or playing and all they do is shop.  Hong Kong is indeed a shoppers’ paradise.  We are all very happy”.

As to his side’s game against Oman he was pleased with the outcome despite starting off slowly but once they had gathered momentum they quickly rang up a 2-0 advantage going into the break through Chang Chia Ming (12th) and captain Hu (31st) both from the field.

However Oman, playing in their first tournament as a team were relentless as they poured on the pressure and were just as quickly rewarded with goals of their own through Mahmood Bait Shamaiaa and three minutes later through Adham Al Habashi to level the game at 2-2.

Chinese Taipei completed their dominance over the spirited Oman side when they broke their hearts with a 59th minute match winner with Hu coming to his side’s rescue on a counter offensive.

Oman coach Koothanda Poonacha was disillusioned with his side and knew he had his work cut out for him despite ending the tournament without a result.

“We return to Muscat and from there we will take a break, after all the boys return for the start of Ramadan and we will all stop hockey for a month,” said Poonacha, who himself will go on a 20 day holiday before resuming work.

The Omanians are slated to play in another tournament but at senior level in the Arab Games that begin in October in Qatar and the good news for the coach is that he would promote some players from this under 21 Asian Hockey Federation Cup to senior level.

“I have a lot of hockey work ahead for me as I am also coach to the senior national team,” he said, where he must cut down from a squad of 40 players ahead of the Arab Games selection.

“From this tournament (i.e. AHF Cup) I will be choosing new blood for the senior side for the Arab Games,” he said.  Going back to the game he admitted that they “conceded silly goals”. 

“We had closed it down to 2-2 and this is where the experience comes in.”

He was not satisfied with the result and felt his players had not played to their full potential.

“We have to play more matches as we lack international exposure.”