The Malaysian national junior netball team ended their qualifying round unbeaten in the 7th Asian Youth Netball championship at the Thyagaraj Stadium in New Delhi yesterday afternoon with their fifth consecutive win.
This time, Malaysia beat host India 67-41 to top the Group to meet fourth placed India again in the semifinals on Friday.
However, yesterday victory was not handed on a silver platter. It was India who won the first quarter 13-12 to give the Malaysian girls some anxious moments. The second quarter saw Malaysia bounce back to win 16-11 to take the lead.
And superior physical condition of the Malaysian players saw them take control in the third and final quarter to keep their unbeaten record intact.
However, Malaysian Netball Association, Suraya Yaacob, was not amused with the way Malaysian went about to win the match.
"We used to beat India easily and scoring more than 100 goals. But today, we were made to work very hard especially in the first two halves. Only our superior physical condition assisted us to pull away in the last two quarters," said Suraya.
"I feel the players were over confident against India and paid the price in the first two halves. We certainly cannot afford to have this attitude in the semifinals and have to be on top gear from the first whistle.
"We cannot afford to lose our focus at this stage. We have had close matches against Singapore, Sri Lanka and today against India, we can no longer take things easy.
"We have to get serious if we want to win the title for the fourth consecutive time. Based on our strength we should win the title, but that does not mean we should take things for granted and make things difficult for ourselves.
"I will be talking to the girls and hope that they will mean business from the word go."
Sri Lanka had in the earlier match defeated Hong Kong 60-33 to book their semifinals berth.
The other semifinals will be between Singapore and Sri Lanka.