Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2018: Resurgent India smashes Malaysia 5-1
India now finds hope for a place in finals as it defeated Malaysia and kept the chances alive. The team looked totally in a different colour with better defence and powerful attacks throughout the game unlike in the previous matches, in which the team looked lacklustre and weak at the back.
The young players from the team had gained enough calm and took the match on a greater pace. By winning over the hosts with a wider margin, the team now can take up the challenge of facing Ireland in their next match with much aplomb and confidence.
India starts with lead
Match started with Malaysia on the upper hand and soon slipped into the hands of young Indians determined for a win.
Young players looked more confident as the team tightened the loose ends which lead to two losses and one draw in the tournament so far.
Gurjant Singh fizzed a low cross and Shilanand Lakra lifted the ball above the goalkeeper adeptly to mark the first goal for India.
Ramandeep Singh missed a close shot due to a delayed reaction. Gurjant and SK Uthappa showed their worth being among the experienced players in the team.
Malaysia kept chasing back with brilliant tackles and long passes. With electrifying support from the crowd for Malaysia, men in orange were fleet-footed throughout the tournament with counter attacks.
Malaysia managed to win its first penalty corner and Faizal Saari scored an equaliser.
India regained the possession and won a penalty corner which was executed by Varun Kumar. Malaysian goalkeeper blocked the initial shot, but Gurjant played a perfect rebound and extended the lead.
Alert Indian defence kept Malaysians efforts for scoring an equaliser at bay.
Action packed final quarter.
Malaysia earned a penalty corner in the early minutes of the final quarter but failed to make it to the scoreboard.
Suraj Karkera made some brilliant saves to put Malaysia under pressure. Ramandeep brought up a wonderful counter attack followed by a brilliant deflection by Sumit Kumar doubled the lead for India.
The team stood firm and active while scoring goals and also keeping the defence tact and avoided goals from Malaysia.
Another penalty corner for India and failed to convert. A very slick deflection by Ramandeep made the score 4-1 in favour of India.
Gurjant extended the lead further by scoring a goal in the same manner as he scored his first by taking the rebound shot from a Penalty Corner.
PCs for Malaysia in the dying minutes
Malaysia earned two penalty corners in the dying minutes of the match which they failed to make a goal in both the attempts.
India team looked all buckled up in every aspect including the defence and penalty corner execution.
This win brought smiles on the fans and also the coach and keeping the hopes alive for a place in finals.