Published: Sat, June 24, 2017
Sports | By Phillip Butler

India loses to Malaysia, crashes out of HWL Semifinal

India loses to Malaysia, crashes out of HWL Semifinal

"Syabas (Congratulations) to our hockey team which has qualified for the 2018 World Cup after beating India in the quarter-finals of the Hockey World League in London", the Prime Minister tweeted. The ball was then picked up by Chinglensana and improvised by Ramandeep to ensure India levelled the score. Malaysia doubled the advantage via Tengku Tajuddin with another penalty corner in the 20th minute.

Nearly immediately Ramandeep Singh doubled his score in the 26th minute when he picked up a rebound off Chinglensana Singh's shot on goal to fire the ball past Malaysian keeper Kumar Subramiam.

In the semi-finals, Malaysia face reigning Olympic champions Argentina who defeated Pakistan 3-1 in the earlier quarter-final. It also meant a second India-Pakistan clash for minor places. The Indians only have themselves to blame for the defeat against the Dutch as besides conceding soft goals, they wasted numerous scoring chances.

Since only the top eight teams will rub shoulders at the HWL Final Round, the top four teams from London and Johannesburg will advance, but if the host India fail to qualify on merit, only seven top teams from both HWL Semifinal rounds will advance based on the International Hockey Federation's (FIH) current rankings.

Ramandeep's sense of positioning saw him scoring India's first goal.

While for the Indian team a loss would be disastrous after such a convincing win in the pool stage and it will raise question marks over Coach Oltmans and his team's progress in the last one year.

Gonzalo Peillat's goal sandwiched in between two efforts from Maico Casella gave the South American side a commanding lead, with Shan Ali's 49th minute strike proving to be little more than a consolation. Razie Rahim came back to haunt India in the final quarter by successfully converting yet another penalty corner.

Another area which would be high on Oltmans' mind is the unimpressive performance of young Harmanpreet Singh from penalty corners.

The Malaysian team made their Indian opponents pay for a series of uncharacteristic errors on their way to a shock win at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

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