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Malaysia beat Japan 3-2 to help India reach final

Ordos (China): Malaysia pumped in three second half goals to stage a superb come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Japan and help India reach the final of the Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament on Friday.

Japan, who needed to win the match to make it to the final, led 2-0 at half time but their hopes were dashed with the Malaysians scoring thrice in the space of 24 minutes in the second session.

Japan`s loss ensured that India booked a berth for the summit clash against Pakistan on Sunday. Pakistan and India emerged the top two sides in the tournament with 10 and nine points respectively after the round-robin league.

Malaysia looked like out of the game after Koji Kayukawa (23rd; penalty stroke) and Shinji Kawauchi (35th) scored for Japan. But, the Malaysians never gave up and Ahmad Fuzi`s 46th minute strike off a goal-mouth melee led a resurgence that brought two more goals in the 55th and 66th minutes.

It was Fuzi who restored parity with a field goal and Saari Faiza scored the match-winner for Malaysia with a brilliant reverse shot to dash Japanese hopes while doing a favour for India.

Japan had a penalty corner in the dying minutes but a draw even then would have seen India go through to the final.

Japan had a penalty corner in the dying minutes but a draw even then would have seen India go through to the final.

Malaysia and Japan will again play for the 3rd/4th position as they finished on an identical seven points.

Korea will play China for the 5th/6th place after the two sides were locked in a 1-1 draw in today`s last match. Korea have seven points but an inferior goal difference (minus one) pushed them down the table.

PTI

From Zee News

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