Tuesday, June 25, 2024

India Take Victory Over Malaysia In Enthralling Hockey Encounter

It was quite a quiet weekend for hockey news, but there was a vey interesting clash between India and Malaysia in the 2023 Asian Champions Trophy.

India eventually came out as winners in the tie, taking the match 4-3 at the final whistle with the scores coming from Jugraj Singh (9 PC), Harmanpreet Singh (45 PS), Gurjant Singh (45) and Asashdeep Singh (45 for India, with Malaysia’s challenge being provided by Azrai Abu Kamal (14), Razie Rahim (18 PC) and Muhammad Aminudin (28 PC).

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The game certainly ebbed and flowed and after early attacks at both ends, Malaysia took over a period and India established their advantage very much against the run of play – Jugraj Singh’s 9th minute penalty kick that he hammered his dragflick in to the top left corner, after a mazy and good run in to the circle from Selvan Karthi.

The lead lasted only five minutes before Malaysia restored parity following a neat one two in the circle that ended with Abu Kamal lifting the ball over and Kishan Pathak.

The second quarter saw Malaysia double down on their intensity, and India could not handle them and their play suffered significantly as Malaysia kept forging forward. Their advantage came in the second minute of the quarter as Rahim flicked into the corner, and Malaysia simply remained on top despite the Indian crowd giving their all to cheer on their players. With two minutes left in the half, Ashran Hamsani won a PC and Aminudin made no mistake, dragflicking his effort in to the top corner.

That sparked something in the India side, and with renewed vigour and determination they came flying out of the traps in the second half of the game, and it was Malaysia’s turn to drop deeper and deeper as they struggled to live with them.

14 minutes later Sukhjeet Singh won a penalty stroke after a foul as he went through one on one, and Harmanpreet converted without doubt. That gave India even more renewed confidence, and they quickly gained themselves the equaliser. Just seconds in fact, as Sukhjeet drove the ball into the circle, and after a neat one two between Gurjant and Karthi, the former smashed it in to the empty net.

The fourth quarter was a much more open, but also much more tightly contested affair as each side knew a single mistake would award the advantage to their opponents. Late on in the quarter, whilst under a period of sustained pressure once again, India held their nerve to convert the winner.

It began with a Shamsher tackle that got the ball of Azuan in to midfield. Despite being tripped from behind, he managed to keep his balance and sent the ball into the circle, where Akashdeep trapped it, turned and absolutely leathered the shot in to the top corner.

An immense, unstoppable finish and a strike worthy of winning any game of hockey – especially one that had ebbed and flowed and been as competitive as this tie proved to be.

Understandably, team coach Craig Fulton was delighted with his teams effort across the game, but that is for another day.

Total Hockey

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