Azlan Shah Hockey: India keeps its slate clean, beats Malaysia 4-2
Playing to a strategic game plan India too full measure of the hosts Malaysia to record an impressive 4-2 win in its third game of the 28th Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament in Ipoh on Tuesday.
The win, second in three games, keeps Indian hopes alive of making the podium.
Earlier in the day, Canada snubbed Japan 2-1 while Korea came from behind to beat Poland 3-2.
Both India and Korea have two wins each besides a drawn game against each other. But Korea stays at the top f the table on better goal difference.
Sumit Kumar turned out to be hero in India’s impressive win. He scored the first two goals while drag flicker Varun Kumar and forward Mandeep Singh chipped in with one goal each to give India an impressive win.
Rahim Razie and Tengku Tajuddin were the scorers for Malaysia.
After India lost to Malaysia in penalty shoot out in Jakarta, it was India’s first emphatic win over Malaysia. The last game in Asian Champions Trophy ha ended in a goalless draw.
India started well taking lead through a brilliant goal by Sumit in the 1th minute. Though the hosts managed to restore parity in the 31st minute throug a penalty corner conversion by Rahim Razie, India’s superiority was never in doubt. Though the hosts tried to match their opponents in every department of the game, including marking, creation of gaps and use of long passes, yet Indians were more methodical in their game plan as they surged ahead in the 27th minute with another goal, second by Sumit.
Six minutes into the second half, young Varun Kumar made no mistake with a penalty corner award to make the issue little safe for India with 3-1 lead.
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Realising that India slackens pace in the closing minutes of the game, Malaysians tried to exploit this inherent weakness of their opponents. The home team was successful to an extent as it pulled one back through Tengku Tajuddin to make the score 2-3 in the 57th minute. But versatile Mandeep Singh had different ideas. He worked out a wonderful move to score India’s fourth goal in the 58th minute to make sure three points for his team from the game.