Not only did they lose 4-0 to Azerbaijan, the team also lost key defender Sebah Anak Kari to a broken jaw.
Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) senior vice-president S. Shamala said the 31-year-old Sarawakian was struck by a ball off a free hit by an Azerbaijan player in the first-half.
“She was taken to the hospital where the doctor advised her to have her broken jaw operated on immediately.
Arrangements are being made to fly Sebah back to Kuala Lumpur.
“She will arrive on Saturday and head straight to the hospital,” said Shamala. “She is expected to undergo surgery on Monday. It’s really unfortunate to lose an experienced player like Sebah, who has been with the national team since the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games.”
This is the second time that Sebah, with 60 international caps, has been injured in a competition. She broke her nose in the 2006 Asian Games in Doha after being hit by the ball.
“Her absence will surely affect the defence. We also have to play the remaining matches with just 17 players,” said Shamala.
Malaysia, coached by former national goalkeeper Mohd Nasihin Nubli, play Japan today and another defeat will end their slim hopes of qualifying for the London Olympics.
Japan thrashed Austria 7-0 in their opening match and are expected to chalk up another big win over Malaysia, who have never featured in the Olympics.