Johor Bahru (Malaysia): India paid the price of unnecessarily fraying their temper as they suffered a humiliating 1-5 drubbing at hands of Malaysia after playing with 10 players for most part of match to end their hopes of a berth in the final of Sultan of Johar Cup hockey tournament on Friday.
India needed to win their last league match on Friday to reach the final but with one player less from the ninth minute onwards and coupled with some poor display meant that the home side outplayed them in all departments of the game.
Malaysia, who needed a draw from the match to qualify for the final, will take on Australia in the summit clash on Saturday while India play South Korea for the bronze medal.
For the home side, captain Md Noor Faeez struck a brace (15th and 59th minutes) followed by a goal apiece from Jamaluddin Md (45th), Md. Yousof (57th) and Nazli Shazril Irwan (61st).
Harpreet Singh struck India`s lone goal in the 12th minute from a penalty corner.
The Indians were to be blamed themselves for their defeat as they did not control their nerves required for a crucial match. Winger Talwinder Singh was red-carded in the ninth minute for hitting a Malaysian player, which meant that India had to play the remaining part of the match with 10 players.
A skirmish developed among the players of the two sides even as both umpires tried to calm them down. Talwinder, who was far off from the scene, came running ferociously, joined the scuffle and hit an opposition player. Australian umpire Ben De Young rightly flashed the red card immediately.
Indian humiliation was complete when its defender Harpreet Singh was shown red-card just five seconds remaining on the clock.
Malaysia made use of the numerical advantage on the field with frequent goals to deny India any space in the contest.
The Indians also had frequent questioning of umpires and rough tackles. After scoring India`s first goal, Harpreet Singh needlessly overdid his yelling at the capacity crowd, thumping his chest for long.
The match started on a cautious note with both sides content on exploring the other till the red-carding of Talwinder in the ninth minute.
Despite a player less, India pressed hard and created ample chances for scoring. Ramandeep Singh put the ball on a defender`s leg to earn India`s first penalty corner.
Malaysian defence ran out poorly with panicky clearances that led to India getting four more penalty corners continuously out of which Harpreet put India ahead (1-0) in the 12th minute.
The Indian lead could hardly survive a couple of minutes with captain Noor Faeez deflecting a rebound to equalise.
In the first session, Indian players wasted scoring chances. Devinder Walmiki, playing as an aggressive midfielder, messed up his own shot after he laboured to bring it from midfield into the circle.
In the closing minutes of the first half too, he could not finish. His scoop went wide, even after he beat goalie Harul Faiz all ends up.
After the lemon break, the Indian strength was further reduced after another player was green-carded. Md. Jamaluddin then converted Malaysia`s fourth penalty corner much to the merry of the overflowing crowd. Indians hardly came back into the game after this 45th minute goal.
India wasted three penalty corners midway through the second session. In all, India could not make use of eighth of the nine penalty corners they got.