Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia have routed India 4-1 in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament in Kuala Lumpur today. It was Malaysia's biggest win over India. Though India held the upper hand in a mediocre first half, they could not go into the break with the lead. Unforced errors The midfield committed plenty of unforced errors, in particular centre half Bimal Lakra and the left link Devender Pal Singh who was tried out in this position instead of his normal right half. Malaysia were the first to score in the 6th minute from a penalty corner awarded after Inderjit Chadha flung himself deliberately at Mohd Fairuz Ramli on the twenty five yard area. Skipper Kuhan Shanmuganathan, who played for Bangalore Hi Fliers in the inaugural Premier Hockey League in Hyderabad, did not disappoint the home crowd as he beat Devesh Chauhan under the bar with a powerful flick. However the lead was short-lived as India fought back to get the equaliser three minutes later. India equalises Winger Prabhjot Singh and his Indian Oil team mate Deepak Thakur found their way into the rival circle where Malaysia defender Nor Azlan Bakar committed a foot fault resulting in a penalty corner in favour of India. Captain Dilip Tirkey scored from the set piece after Len Aiyappa's dummy. There was nothing to sparkle in the remaining period of the session as India failed to take advantage of the time Jiwa Mohan was given temporary marching orders for an infringement. There were mispasses galore from Lakra and Devender was all at sea. Right winger Rajpal Singh and Arjun Halappa were not fed accurate passes as the Indian strikers fumbled time and again around the Malaysian circle. Barring Prabhjot, who made good penetrative moves, there was nothing sizzling in the Indian attacks. His indeed was unfortunately a one-man army. India missed the opportunity to go into the lead shortly before the end of the first half when Dilip Tirkey missed the mark by inches from their second penalty corner. The visitors were completely outwitted and blanked in the next thirty five minutes, as Malaysia moved with full throttle on their flanks against the unsure India defence. With full support from the midfield, Malaysia forwards Ramli, Azlan Misron, Robert Alcantra and Hairul more often than not wrong footed the Indians, including the dependable Tirkey. Malaysia went 2-1 up when Alcantra seized the ball from an excellent rundown from the left and after dodging past Devinder, hit a rasper from the edge of the circle in the 49th minute. Hosts strike There was no looking back for the hosts as four minutes later they increased their tally from an indirect penalty corner conversion by Mohd Amin Rahim. It was another penalty corner goal which was the last nail in the Indian coffin after Aiyappa had body checked Misron. Shanmuganathan again found the mark with the flick going between Chauhan and Aiyappa in the 64th minute to round off the tally. India, like Malaysia now have four points, but are placed below them by virtue of an inferior goal difference. India next play Korea on Tuesday while Malaysia will take on the Asian Games gold medallists tomorrow.
(With PTI inputs)
Topics : Hockey