Azlan Shah Cup: India beat Malaysia

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> India prevailed over hosts Malaysia 2-1 with a 76th min golden goal to finish fifth at the Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:52 IST
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Kuala Lumpur:

India prevailed over hosts Malaysia 2-1 with a 76th min golden goal to finish fifth at the Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament at the Bukit Jalil stadium today. The match winner was scored by Prabhjot Singh after the two teams were locked 1-1 at the break and full time. Malaysia with an earlier comprehensive tournament win against India topped up with Friday's triumph over Pakistan, took the field all fired up. Malaysian defence India controlled the opening session's play as their forwards propelled onslaughts from both flanks. Rajpal Singh and Prabhjot had the nip and stick work to constantly disturb the Malaysian defence. The scores could have been level in the 10th minute but Prabhjot inside the circle misses an excellent Ignace Tirkey cross. Shortly after, Arjun Halappa pushed wide a Deepak Thakur pass. Another rhythmic India move from Thakur, Halappa and Prabhjot was blocked by Malaysia custodian Roslan Jamaludin. Penalty corners India, however, got the equaliser from their first penalty corner in the 20th minute when Aiyappa's forceful dragflick had no answer to make it 1-1. India forced two more penalty corners in the first half but were unable to make the crossover with the lead. It was again India who held sway in the second period, even though Malaysia put up a good resistance. India could have taken the lead midway in the session but failed to convert an indirect penalty corner, with four rebound attempts in the Malaysia circle. First it was Aiyappa, followed by Dilip Tirkey and Thaku` and finally Halappa. Golden goal Malaysia frittered away two good chances also when Robert Alacantara and Mohd Fairuz Ramli missed the mark with only Chauhan to beat. India had a goal disallowed from a penalty corner two minutes from the end. The indirect from Aiyappa, which was deflected in by Thakur was disputed by the Malaysians. The Pakistan umpire Rana Muhammad Liaqat reversed his decision leading to frayed tempers amongst the players. Eventually, Thakur and Jiwa Mohan were shown the Red card as the game went to the extra time. Fortunately, India did not have to wait long to get the golden goal, even though they wasted two penalty corner chance. Prabhjot Singh found the all important goal after the initial spadework of Rajpal and Halappa. (PTI)

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