Speedy Tigers incur defeat but all hope is not lost

India have made it through to the semi-finals of the world hockey world league at the expense of Malaysia after coming behind to comprehensively defeat the Malaysians 3-2 in the quarter-finals.

Jashit Singh was the man of the moment as he scored twice in the 48th and 55th minute – both from penalty corners, after Razie Rahim and Shahril Saabah scored –  ironically, from penalty corners themselves, gave Malaysia the a 2-1 lead following Satbir Singh’s strike that put India ahead after only 3 minutes into the game.

Although Malaysia had their chances as the goalkeepers from both sides made some wonderful saves – India’s PR Sreejesh in particularly, and successfully managed to neutralize India for a large period of time, but it was ultimately not meant to be for the South-East Asian nation as their defensive mistakes caused them dearly.

As the current Asian Games champions, India have already qualified for next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro but found it difficult to beat a spirited Malaysian side – whom they also met and loss in the Azlan Shah Cup two months ago. India will now face Belgium in the semis after the host nation defeated France 5-4 in the other quarter-final match.

A win would have ensured an automatic spot in the Olympics. But all is not lost for Malaysia though, as they still stand a chance to qualify but are in a quagmire as they have to battle for the fifth qualifying spot to ensure that they have the ticket to Rio de Janeiro.

Photo Credit: Indian Express

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