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India draw with Malaysia

India began their quest for a maiden medal by sharing two goals with Malaysia in the Group B opening match.

india Updated: Mar 17, 2006 12:44 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

India began their quest for a maiden medal in the Commonwealth Games by sharing two goals with Malaysia in the men's preliminary league Group B opening matchon Friday.

Malaysia went into the lead in the 21st minute with the efforts of Rahim Muhammad Amin but Sandeep Singh equalised it in the 43rd minute with a superb penalty corner conversion.

India dished out a mixture of European and Indian styles of play and concentrated more on long passes and looking to enter the circle, but this did not work out against the Malaysian defenders who showed their skills in great measure.

In fact, the Malaysians settled down defensive tactics during the second half in hunt of some vital points.

Besides, main Indian forward Deepak Thakur, though did not find his usual exuberant form, was totally manned and rarely got out of the shackles and the forward line's movement was also restricted.

India put up a decent performance and even reached near victory at a point when Bharat Chettri showed his impatience to wield the stick after the ball passed him from a rival attacker, which warranted umpire Simon Taylor of New Zealand to show the dreaded spot. Amin beat Chettri for the vital lead. More

India earned its first penalty corner in the 31st minute and Sandeep Singh's drag flick was well saved by Ibrahim Mohd Nasihin.

In the first 25 minutes of second half, Indian dominance put Malaysia under totally pressure.

A minute after Prabodh Tirkey put Tejbir Singh on the left and the latter's try was saved, Rajpal's superb effort from about 20 yards on the right hit the cross piece to the chagrin of Indian supporters and it developed into a penalty corner for India, their second in the match. Sandeep Singh sounded the board.

Then on, the Malaysians adopted defensive methods while India suffered as several umpiring decisions went against them.

Sandeep Singh received a yellow card for five minutes suspension by Simon Taylor for a tackle and Prabodh, a green card in the match.

Indian defense and midfielders showed greater cohesion, though they indulged in miss or wrong passes but the Malaysians are to be credited for their total hockey.

Their centre forward Tengu Ahmad was especially very agile and appeared dangerous whenever he ventured into the 25 yard line.

The Malaysians were most often able to unsettle their Indian rivals with their perfect interceptions and were also able to threat frequently for a goal.

Swimmers fail:

Indian swimmers Puneet Rana and Shikha Tandon failed to qualify in the heats and bowed out of their respective events at the 18th Commonwealth Games on Friday.

Rana finished seventh in the men's 100m breaststroke heat with a timing of 1:06.51 seconds while Tandon came sixth in the women's 100m backstroke clocking 1:08.52 seconds.

In the 50m freestyle for Elite Athletes with Disabilities (EADs), India's Kanchanmala Pande finished sixth in her heat with a timimg of 42.40 seconds.

First Published: Mar 17, 2006 10:49 IST