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Malaysia hold jaded India 1-1
December 01, 2007 18:19 IST
Favourites India displayed a lacklustre performance to hold a lower-ranked Malaysia to a 1-1 draw in their opening encounter of the Lal Bahadur Shastri four-nation women's hockey tournament in New Delhi on Saturday.
The hosts spoilt several opportunities and allowed Malaysia to take a 1-0 lead through a chance goal by Hashim Norbani (39th minute). However, Saba Anjum's deflection (65th) at the death save the blushes for the 13th-ranked India.
The new-look Indian forwardline, led by captain Mamta Kharab, neither had the rhythm nor the understanding. Their game after the 25-yard line was utterly pathetic as they missed one chance after another to allow the pressure build on them.
Inside the first 10 minutes, a couple of Suman Bala hits into the circle could not be put into the goal.
India again missed out on grabbing the lead as a free hit from outside the Malaysian D reached Saba Anjum and her shot with a reverse stick went wide.
The hosts' frustration spiralled as they could not capitalise on a penalty corner in the 20th minute and then bungled another opportunity in front of an open goal.
The Indians went into the interval with drooping shoulders and were unable to lift their spirits even after the break.
Malaysia took advantage of the disjointed performance of the Indians as Hashim Norbani achieved the breakthrough for her team just four minutes after the change of ends.
The lack of planning up-front was evident as the home team continued with their erroneous passing and tried to breach the Malaysian defence through the centre.