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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

Hockey World League semifinal: India lose to Malaysia, to play Pakistan again

Malaysia upset India 3-2 to set up a quarterfinal clash vs Argentina in the Hockey World League semifinal. India will play Pakistan in a classification match

other-sports Updated: Jun 22, 2017 23:49 IST
Soumitra Bose
Soumitra Bose
Hindustan Times, London
India suffered a 3-2 loss in quarters of Hockey World League semifinal vs Malaysia to crash out of the tournament.
India suffered a 3-2 loss in quarters of Hockey World League semifinal vs Malaysia to crash out of the tournament.(Hockey India )

Malaysia once against proved to be a thorn in India’s flesh. Ramandeep Singh’s double strike went in vain as India went down 3-2 in a quarterfinal match of Hero Hockey World League semifinal on Thursday. (INDIA vs MALAYSIA HIGHLIGHTS)

India’s coach Roelant Oltmans, however, wasn’t ready to concede defeat easily. He challenged the umpire’s decision to award Malaysia their sixth penalty corner from which Razie Rahim scored the match-winner in the 48th minute of the match. “It was not fair on us,” India’s Dutch coach said after the match.

Malaysia’s win gives them a ticket to the 2018 World Cup in India. Razie Rahim, who opened Malaysia’s scoring in the 19th minute, told HT: “It is a dream come true. We have been waiting for this day for a long time.”

Malaysia will now clash with world No. 1 Argentina in the semifinals while India will take on Pakistan for the second time in the tournament for the fifth/sixth positions. India had beaten Pakistan 7-1 in their group match. Argentina defeated Pakistan 3-1 in Thursday’s first quarterfinal at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

All from penalty corners

All three Malaysian goals came from penalty corner conversions. Tengku Tajuddin doubled Malaysia’s lead in the 20th minute but India scored twice in a space of three minutes as the teams went into half-time 2-2.

(Read | Hockey World League semifinal: Pakistan no match for tactical Argentina)

Ramandeep’s sense of positioning saw him scoring India’s first goal. It was set up by a sizzling cross from the left by Sumit and Ramandeep made no mistake with a crisp deflection.

India’s second goal came off an indirect penalty corner conversion. Harmanpreet Singh once again had an off-day, taking short corners with soft hands. Luckily for India, Ramandeep showed wonderful opportunism to slot the ball in past the Malaysian defenders.

(Read | Cricketers new role models for hapless Pakistan hockey team)

But Ramandeep ran out of luck when it mattered most. In the dying seconds of the match, the veteran striker put stick to ball but the impact was hard. The ball flew past the open Malaysian goalmouth.

Malaysia built their game around counterattacks. They came out of their defensive mould quite often forcing four penalty corners in the first half. The early goals put India under pressure and just like the match against The Netherlands, it turned out to be a story of missed chances for India.

First Published: Jun 22, 2017 23:14 IST

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