Asian Games 2018: Men's Hockey Semifinal, India vs Malaysia preview, telecast, date, start time and where to watch online
Defending champions India will be aiming to reach the Asian Games Men's Hockey final for the thirteenth time when they meet Malaysia in the first semifinal today. India and Pakistan played each other in seven successive finals from 1958 until 1982 after which India lost to Pakistan in the semifinal of the 1986 edition and had to be content with a bronze medal.
At Doha in 2006, the Indians finished fifth which was their worst ever finish in the history of the competition and failed to reach the final yet again in the next edition at Guangzhou.
Harendra Singh was the coach of the Indian side in the Guangzhou edition in 2010 when the Indians lost the semifinal to Malaysia and will be keen to turn the tables this time around.
Back then, Malaysia made their maiden appearance in an Asian Games final after scoring first in golden goal extra time, and the Indians went on to beat South Korea in the bronze-medal match.
The former giants of world hockey, India and Pakistan played the final in 2014 after a gap of 24 years with the Indians winning gold.
The Indians have had a mixed record against Malaysia in recent times, even though the overall statistics weigh heavily in favor of the defending champions.
The Indian men have played Malaysia 116 times and won 81 of those encounters while the Malaysians have won only 17.
As far as the Asian Games are concerned, the two teams have met 11 times and the Indians had never lost to Malaysia until the 2010 edition at Guangzhou.
India and Malaysia were in different pools and did not play each other in the previous edition of the Games in 2014. The Malaysians lost the semifinal to Pakistan in a close shootout and also lost the bronze medal to South Korea at Incheon.
At the Azlan Shah Cup earlier this year, a young Indian team, thrashed the hosts 5-1 at Ipoh, but their more experienced teammates lost to the Malaysians in last year's Azlan Shah Cup, and also in the 2017 HWL Semifinal at London.
At the Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast, the Indians recorded a 2-1 win thanks to a PC brace from Harmanpreet Singh
In Jakarta, the Malaysians lost 1-4 to Pakistan but won all their other pool matches handsomely scoring 41 goals and conceding six.
Sreejesh and co., on the other hand, won all their pool matches scoring 76 goals with three against.
The Indians will be wary of brothers, Faizal and Fitri Saari, and Tajuddin Tengku who can prove to be a handful up front. Muhammad Razie Abdul Rahim has proven time and again that his drag flicks can win matches for his side and the Indian defense will need to be mop-up tidily in their own circle.
Past records have meant little to Harendra Singh's marauding side and the Malaysians will have to produce something extraordinary to get past the Champions Trophy silver-medalists.
Here is how you can catch all the action:
Event: Asian Games 2018
Venue: Jakarta, Indonesia
Date: 30 August 2018
Time: 4:00 pm Indian Standard Time (IST)
Telecast: Sony ESPN, Sony Ten 2, Ten 2 HD, Sony ESPN HD
Live Streaming: Sony Liv