India reach Azlan Shah final after 12 yrs
India beat Malaysia 2-1 to book a berth in the final of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey in Malaysia on Sunday.Updated: May 17, 2008, 20:31 IST
India pulled off a narrow 2-1 win in their last round robin match against hosts Malaysia to book a berth in the final of the Azlan Shah hockey tournament in Ipoh in Malaysia on Saturday.
First half goals by Shivendra Singh (9th) and Sandeep Singh (10th) put India in the driver's seat in the crucial match and they maintained the lead till the last minute before Mohammad Amin Rahim shot home a consolation goal for Malaysia.
With this win, India gathered 12 points from their six matches and set up a title clash against Argentina, who have finished with 14 points, on Sunday.
India, who lost their first two matches, continued with their impressive turnaround in the tournament to register their fourth consecutive victory and make the Azlan Shah final after a gap of 12 years.
India tried to keep the Malaysians under control in Saturday's game and in the initial minutes Sunil had a golden chance to score the first goal when he took the ball with a solo run and had a shy at the Malaysian post without succeeding in beating home goalkeeper Subramanian.
Then it was the run of Indian keeper Adrian D'Souza, who continued with his good showing against Pakistan and single-handedly blocked three back-to-back attempts by the Malaysian strikers.
India got into lead in the 9th minute when a Sandeep Singh slapshot from outside the Malaysian circle was deflected in by Shivendra Singh.