Malaysia stun India

Malaysia stunned favourites India 7-6 in a shootout to book their place in the final of the Asian Games.

It was indeed a victory to savour for the Malaysians whi were the underdogs going into the final.

A defensive approach with quick counter attacks was the key to the Malaysian success.

And they owe their win to the experienced keeper S. Kumar who was in his element in the match as well as the shootout.

In the initial five shootout, those who scored for Malaysia were Firhan Ashaari and Fitri Saari while India scored through Akashdeep Singh and Harmanpreet Singh.

The score was tied at 2-2 at the end of the five shootouts each.

The sudden death went to the wire as Malaysia’s Firhan, Fitri, Meor Mohamad Hasssn, Faizal Saari and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin scored while India scored through Harmanpreet, Akashdeep, Manpreet , Dilpreet while Sommapret missed his attempt.

“ We knew that if we could disrupt their attacking play, we stood a chance the longer we frustrated them, the better our chances became,” said Malaysian coach Stephen van Huizen.

“ When they led 2-2 we threw caution into the win and attacked. I knew if it went to shootout, we would prevail.

“ The players showed hunger and desire and that was what took us through to the final”.

As for Indian coach Harebdra Singh, the defeat was a bitter pill to swallow.

“ Either we gave Malaysia too much respect or not enough respect. And we paid the price for it.”

India were awarded a penalty corner in the first minute, but Malaysian keeper S. Kumar saved the attempt by Harmanpreet Singh.

Malaysia though made good their very first penalty corner in the fifth minute with Mohd Firhan Ashaari scoring from a set price.

But they joy was short lived as India won the video referral.

India were awarded a second penalty corner in the 11th minute but this time Vivek Sagsr failed to find the mark.

It was Rupinderpal Singh that failed to make most of the two penalty corners in the 12th minute.

Malaysia played a patient game and slowed things down .

But they showed speed and flair when in possession and were awarded a penalty corner in the 13th minute but Sreejesh was equal to the task of saving the attempt by Razie Rahim.

At the end of the first quarter it was scoreless.

Malaysia defended stoutly in the opening five minutes of the second quarter but from a counter attack Malaysia were awarded a penalty corner in the 20th minute.

However this time Faisal Saari was denied by Sreejesh,

India hot bavk right away to win their fifth penalty corner only to see Kumar once again deny Harmanpreet.

India went ahead in the 33rd minute as Harmanpreet send it an unstoppable drag flick to make it 1-0 in favour of India.

Faisal Saari put Malaysia on level terms in the 40th minute from a quick counter after India muffed a penalty corner in the other end.

India hit back seconds later as Varun Kumar put the finishing touches to a penalty corner to give India a 2-1 lead.

With one minute on the clock, Malaysia were awarded a penalty corner and Razie powered home the ball to take the match into a shootout.

And the rest was history’.