India knocked out of Junior Asia Cup hockey by Malaysia
Malacca (Malaysia): Resurgent Malaysia dashed the hopes of defending champions India as they registered a 2-0 victory in the semifinal of the Junior Asia Cup here today.
After a barren first half, Malaysia struck twice in the second session to frustrate the Indians, who adopted a slow game tactics to contain the marauding forwards of Malaysia, but failed to shine when their turn came for scoring.
Star striker Faizal Sarri sent the ball to the roof of the net off the first penalty corner in the 40th minute to break the goal jinx and then, four minutes before the hooter, Md. Shamim added another.
India were playing with a player less when the second goal came as defender Sukhmanpreet was shown a yellow card for a body tackle.
The Malaysians thus reached the final of the Junior Asia only for second time after 1992 when they incidentally defeated India in the semis.
The match did not rise to the expected level, with each side contend to play the waiting game. Once Malaysia struck against the run of play, the Indians pressed hard and created many chances but were clueless to make use of them.
India withered a few entries into the circle by the hosts, and then gradually took control of the proceedings.
The Malaysians found it hard to score despite full stands egging them on.
India created umpteen moves in the last ten minutes of the first session but failed to capitalise. Sukhdev twice, Sukhdeep Singh and Malak Singh and Naveen Antil came close to scoring but were inaccurate and wayward in shooting.