India fight back stuns Malaysia

India came from being 2-0 down to defeat Malaysia 4-2 at the Taman Daya Stadium tonight.

It was a case of the home team making silly mistakes in defence that allowed their opponents to collect all three points.

“ We made some structural and tactical changes after being 2-0 down by keeping experienced players longer on the pitch,” said India coach B J Kariappa.

“ Mandeep provides the leadership qualities to spur the players and that helped to soothe their nerves.”

Malaysia got off to a flying start, scoring two goals within the space of a minute.

The first was a beauty of a deflection by Mohd Syafiq Hassan in the 8th minute.

Hardly had the cheers died down that Malaysia added a second, courtesy of a penalty corner converted by Mohd Arrifin Zainuddin.

But instead of playing with confidence, the home team however went into a defensive mode.

And India given the space and time started looking dangerous.

They narrowed the deficit in the 19th minute via a penalty stroke converted by Rahul Rajhbar.

And by the 33rd minute India were level with Pratap Lakra scoring from a penalty corner.

And that gave India the confidence to move into a more offensive mode.

They scored another penalty corner, this time through Shilanand Lakra in the 39th minute for a 3-2 lead.

Uttam Singh made it 4-2 , scoring in the final minute.

“ Our players lack of experience in international Hockey and that showed today,” said Malaysian coach Nor Saiful Nasiruddin.

“ We had several chances that we failed to put away.”