rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Azlan Shah hockey: India beat Malaysia, keep hopes alive

Azlan Shah hockey: India beat Malaysia, keep hopes alive

May 28, 2012 20:04 IST

Five-time champions India defeated hosts Malaysia 3-2 to put their campaign back on track in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament in Ipoh, Malaysia, on Monday.

Bouncing back from Sunday's defeat to Great Britain, India played a brisk game in a fast-paced encounter and led from the start, but had to ward off Malaysia's determined fightback.

Earlier, South Korea thrashed much-fancied Pakistan 4-0 to register their first win in four matches.

The highlight of the day's programme, though, was title favourites Great Britain's 2-3 shock defeat at the hands of Argentina which completely opened up the tournament.

New Zealand still lead the standings with nine points from three successive wins, while both Argentina and India lie second with six points from four matches each.

Against Malaysia, India's defence faced some anxious moments early on as goalkeeper Bharat Chetri first came out to block a shot from Tengku Ahmad in the second minute and then blocked a penalty-corner shot by Shahrun Nabil in the sixth minute.

Two minutes later, young Malaysian striker Faisal Saari missed a sitter by flicking wide of an open goal after his initial push rebounded off the Indian custodian's pads.

After the initial burst, Malaysia were at the receiving end as India produced two goals in the space of two minutes to take charge of the game.

Danish Mujtaba deflected in Sarvanjit Singh's shot into the boards in the 10th minute and then Shivendra Singh sent a scorching grounder into the boards from top of the circle in the next minute.

Shivendra's quick reflexes helped keep up the pressure after he failed to stop the penalty-corner push, but dribbled the ball back into the scoring area to take the shot.

India also wasted a number of scoring chances as S K Uthappa shot straight into goalkeeper Subramiam Kumar in the 16th minute and then Yuvraj Walmiki shot wide after the ball was switched around in a brisk counter-attack in the 26th minute.

Malaysia came close to reducing the lead in the 30th minute, but India captain Chetri brought off fine saves, first charging out to block Tengku's solo attempt. The shot rounded off Chetri's pads to Faisal Saari, who then unleashed a firm drive, only to see the goalkeeper block the shot again.

Malaysia pulled a goal back four minutes after half-time when Muhammad Amin converted their second penalty-corner, but India scored at the other end within a minute to make it 3-1 as Tushar Khandekar capitalised on a rebound from the goalkeeper, who had blocked Shivendra's shot from the right.

Malaysia displayed a spirited game and were rewarded with a fine goal by Muhammad Fitri Saari, who dribbled into the circle and unleashed a diagonal shot, which goalkeeper Chetri tried to stop, but only managed to deflect it into the net.

Looking for equaliser, the Malaysians forced three penalty-corners in the space of six minutes, but the Indian defenders held their ground.

This was Malaysia's first loss in three outings, having drawn their previous two matches.

India will play Argentina in their next game on Wednesday.

 

South Korea too good for Pakistan

 

Setting a brisk pace, the South Koreans benefited from Pakistan's erratic strikers, who missed chances galore in the first half.

Nam Hyun-Woo converted two penalty-corners for the Koreans, who opened the scoring in the 18th minute on their second penalty-corner award.

Pakistan came back strongly with nice field work, but Muhammad Waqas pushed a shot wide after getting a cross in front of an open goal.

Pakistan skipper Sohail Abbas then came close to equalising from their first penalty-corner when his shot hit the edge of goalkeeper Lee Myung-Ho's pads and deflected on to the post before rebounding into play.

Abbas had an off day in office today as he failed to penetrate the Korean defence on all four penalty-corners Pakistan earned in the game.

Striker Shafqat Rasool then failed to establish control of a diagonal ball inside the circle with an open goal in front.

Nam again shot on target in the 44th minute to make it 2-0 for South Korea.

As Pakistan's game wilted under pressure, You Hyo-Sik increased the lead in the 55th minute after getting a through pass inside the circle.

Hyun Hye-Sung then rounded off South Korea's scoring in the 62nd minute from a diagonal pass.

Down 0-4, Pakistan pressed hard and managed to earn two late penalty-corners late in the game but on both occasions Abbas failed to produce the desired the result.

South Korea now have four points from four games, while Pakistan have three from as many matches.

New Zealand lead the table with nine points from three games.

© Copyright 2014 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.