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Rediff.com  » Sports » Wasteful India held goalless by Malaysia in Asian Champions Trophy

Wasteful India held goalless by Malaysia in Asian Champions Trophy

October 24, 2018 10:33 IST

IMAGE: India captain Manpreet Singh, left, in action. Photograph: PTI

Defending champions India were held to a goalless draw by Malaysia but managed to maintain their pole position in the points table in the Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament in Muscat.

 

Both India and the Asian Games Silver medallists Malaysia now have 10 points each from four outings in the preliminary round-robin league, with India topping the standings on basis of a superior goal difference.

The Indian team were off to a nervy start as they wasted several scoring opportunities early in the match.

They had a spate of chances early in the contest, only for Hardik Singh to fritter away a scoring opportunity. Harmanpreet Singh's penalty corner flick was blocked by the Malaysian goalkeeper and Mandeep failed to get a touch on long diagonal ball. It happened twice in the first quarter.

Malaysia created one opening on a counter-attack, but mostly fell back to defend their goal against the Indian strikers.

In the second half, the Indian strikers were not allowed space to enter the circle until the closing stages, when they forced two penalty corners but could not produce a goal-bearing shot.

This was a period when Malaysia were down to 10 players as Tengku Tajuddin was shown the yellow card for a deliberate foul on Indian Captain Manpreet Singh.

Nilakanta Sharma missed the target by inches in one of the combined Indian raids.  

India's chief coach Harendra Singh slammed his team for the missed chances.

"I am not happy. We cannot miss chances like this in international hockey," he said.

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