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September 18, 2000
Netherlands held by Malaysia
Malaysia spilt blood for their cause but it was the Dutch campaign which may have been badly wounded in a scoreless draw in Pool A of the men's hockey competition Monday.
With the Netherlands desperately pushing for a winner late in the game, Malaysia's Shanmuganathan Kuhan was struck in the face by a ball deflected off an attacker's stick.
Kuhan was taken to hospital for stitches and is in doubt for the next game against Britain, but his play typified Malaysia's performance against the defending Olympic champions.
After holding Germany in their opening match, the Malaysians again resorted to playing 11 men behind the ball. They had only two shots at goal compared to 15 for the Dutch, but Malaysian coach Stephen Van Huizen made no apologies for his team's defensive approach.
''If we had played an open game against the Dutch we would have been in for a hard time,'' he said. ''In our first two games we have had to play the teams that came first and second in the Champions Trophy, so to get a point out of those was a bonus.''
The Netherlands looked to have found a way through the Malaysian wall 12 minutes from fulltime when a deflection from captain Stephan Veen hit the crossbar and appeared to bounce over the line.
The umpire in the circle awarded a goal but was overruled by the second official, to the dismay of the Dutch players.
''We have lodged a protest stating that we did not understand why and on what grounds the second umpire could overrule the guy whose circle it is,'' said Dutch coach Maurits Hendriks.
The Netherlands have plenty of work to do before they take on Canada on Wednesday. They were clearly frustrated by Malaysia's spoiling tactics and can expect the Canadians to adopt a similar approach.
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