blog by riya rathore

The India crashed out of the Hockey World League Semi-Final after suffering a shocking 2-3 defeat at the hands of Malaysia in a quarter-final match on Thursday. It was hard-fought encounter as both the teams played with great intensity. The Indians only had themselves to blame as a below-par opening 20 minutes and some sloppy defending ruined their hopes.India conceded as many as seven penalty corners, three of which were converted by Malaysia through Razie Rahim (19th, 48th minutes) and Tengku Tajuddin . By virtue of this win, Malaysia have qualified for next year’s World Cup to be held in India.For India, it is their second defeat against Malaysia in little less than two months. Roelant Oltmans’ men had earlier lost 0-1 to the same opponents in the Azlan Shah Cup last month.Malaysia pressed hard early on and secured two penalty corners but wasted both the chances. The first quarter ended goalless with Malaysia controlling the proceedings.Malaysia continued their attacking game and got a great opportunity to break the deadlock in the 17h minute when a scoop from the deep found Nabil Noor alone inside the Indian circle but an alert goalkeeper Vikas Dahiya came off his line to deny Noor. All three Malaysian goals came from penalty corner conversions. Tengku Tajuddin doubled Malaysia’s lead in the 20th minute but India scored twice in a space of three minutes as the teams went into half-time 2-2. ndia’s second goal came off an indirect penalty corner conversion. Harmanpreet Singh once again had an off-day, taking short corners with soft hands. Luckily for India, Ramandeep showed wonderful opportunism to slot the ball in past the Malaysian defenders.

India Squad The (Goalkeepers) Akash Chikte, Vikas Dahiya; (Defenders) Pradeep Mor, Kothajit Singh, Surender, Kumar, Rupinderpal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh; (Midfielders) Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, S K Uthappa, Satbir Singh, Sardar Singh, Manpreet Singh, Harjeet Singh; (Forwards) Ramandeep Singh, SV Sunil, Talwinder Singh, Mandeep Singh Akashdeep Singh. Jalandhar born Manpreet Singh will lead Team India. Regular skipper and goalkeeper P R Sreejesh could not make it due to injury.Kangujam Chinglensana Singh from Manipur will be his deputy for the tournament.Youngsters Akash Chikte and Vikas Dahiya will fight it out for the goalkeeping position, replacing Sreejesh. Ramandeep Singh returns in the forward position and holds the key for the Men in Blue when attacking. Qualification for the World Cup will only be clear, following the outcome of the semi-final in Johannesburg and results elsewhere .

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