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India finish fifth in Azlan Shah

June 05, 2005 17:25 IST

India prevailed over hosts Malaysia 2-1 with a 76th min golden goal to finish fifth at the Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament at the Bukit Jalil stadium in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.

Prabhjot Singh scored the match winner after the two teams were locked 1-1 at the break and full time.

Malaysia with an earlier comprehensive tournament win against India topped up with Friday's triumph over Pakistan, took the field all fired up.

They took the lead in the third minute when striker Hairul Nizam Ab Rani, set up by skipper Kuhan, when into the clear past Len Aiyappa and Bimal Lakra to beat Indian goalkeeper Devesh Chauhan.

India controlled the opening session's play as their forwards propelled onslaughts from both flanks. Rajpal Singh and Prabhjot had the nip and stick work to constantly disturb the Malaysian defence.

The scores could have been level in the 10th minute but Prabhjot inside the circle misses an excellent Ignace Tirkey cross. Shortly after, Arjun Halappa pushed wide a Deepak Thakur pass.

India, however, got the equaliser from their first penalty corner in the 20th minute when Aiyappa's forceful dragflick had no answer to make it 1-1.

India forced two more penalty corners in the first half but were unable to make the crossover with the lead.

It was again India who held sway in the second period, even though Malaysia put up a good resistance.

Malaysia frittered away two good chances also when Robert Alacantara and Mohd Fairuz Ramli missed the mark with only Chauhan to beat.

India had a goal disallowed from a penalty corner two minutes from the end. The indirect from Aiyappa was deflected in by Thakur but the Malaysians hotly disputed the verdict.

The Pakistan umpire Rana Muhammad Liaqat reversed his decision leading to frayed tempers amongst the players.

Eventually, Thakur and Jiwa Mohan were shown the Red card as the game went to the extra time.

Fortunately, India did not have to wait long to get the golden goal, even though they wasted two penalty corner chances.

Prabhjot Singh found the all-important goal after the initial spadework of Rajpal and Halappa.

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