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India beat Malaysia 5-2

After a dismal performance in their first match at the Azlan Shah hockey tournament, three-time champions India registered a win in the second.

india Updated: Jun 19, 2006 19:50 IST

Three-time champions India defeated Malaysia 5-2 in a Pool A match of the Sultan Azlan Shah hockey tournament in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

India, who lost 1-4 to Olympic and defending champions Australia in their first match on Sunday, led 2-0 at half time at the Bukit Jalil Stadium.

Hari Prasad (14th minute), Gagan Ajit Singh (24th and 60th), Sandeep Singh (39th) and Tushar Khandekar (56th) scored for India, while Azlan Misron (40th) and Jiwa Mohan (47th) reduced the margin for the hosts.

India's next match is against South Korea on Wednesday, while Malaysia will play Australia the same day.

India dominated most of the first half, but the Malaysians had their moments as they forced penalty corners in five minutes midway in this half.

Malaysians came back determined and mounted attack after attack early in the second half. Their persistence paid rich dividends as it resulted in two goals in seven minutes.

But soon India again gained the upper hand as they scored two goals in five minutes, including one off a penalty stroke awarded after the Malaysian goal-keeper had brought down Shivender Singh when he was all set to push the ball inside the goal.

Gagan Ajit made no mistake from the dreaded spot as he placed the ball in the top left corner of the goal.

India, taking part in the tournament for the 11th time, had won the title in Kuala Lumpur in 1985, 1991 and 1995, and finished third in 1983 and 2000.

India, Australia, who won the title in 2004 and 2005, Malaysia and one-time champion South Korea are in Pool A, while Pool B has thrice winners Pakistan, the Netherlands, Argentina and New Zealand.

After round robin matches the top two teams from both pools will advance to the semi-finals, followed by the final June 25.

The Azlan Shah tournament was launched in 1983 as a biennial contest that became an annual event after 1998.