Asia Cup: India beat Malaysia in semis, qualify for World Cup
India qualified for the 2014 hockey World Cup even before playing their semi-final match vs Malaysia. But that didn't stop them from scoring a dominant 2-0 win over the hosts to storm into the Asia Cup final.
VR Raghunath and Mandeep scored a goal each to guide India to the final, where they will take on defending champions Korea
Post the break, the Malaysians understandably were the more anxious, snatching a penalty corner in the 47th minute. However, a diving Sreejesh ensured the scoreline remained 1-0.
Malaysia threw everything at the Indian goal post that but the Indian defence did not disappoint. Overall, the hosts had a total of nine shots at goal as compared to India's seven.
Malaysia failed to convert two penalty corners in the final minute
It became 2-0 thirteen minutes later, with Ramandeep drawing the Malaysian keeper out, before sending a delightful pass to Mandeep who found the back of the Malaysian goal.
Earlier, Asia Cup defending champions South Korea did India a favour by knocking out Pakistan 2-1 in the other semis. The loss meant Pakistan failed to qualify for the hockey World Cup for the first time in 42 years.
"I am quite pleased with our performance. I am pleased the way we played, the energy we brought showed in the game. We utilised the first chance of the game. We knew it will be a difficult game. Malaysia is a very good side. They showed that in the last couple of tournaments. We really had to go all out win this match," India's interim coach Roelant Oltmans said after the match.