Friday, 23 June 2017

After Booking a spot in hockey World Cup 2018 by entering quarter finals of World League Semi Finals, Malaysia beats India to enter semi's

Malaysia has booked a spot in next year's Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar. AFP Photo

By AJITPAL SINGH - June 23, 2017 @ 12:50am

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has booked a spot in next year's Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar.

Razie Rahim grabbed two goals and an assist as Malaysia earned a dramatic 3-2 win over World No 6 India in the quarter-finals of the World League Semi-Finals in London on Thursday.

However, Malaysia almost paid the price when they allowed India to come back from a two-goal deficit but Stephen van Huizen's side managed to close the gap after that and score the winning goal.

For India, the defeat is not a huge blow as they will be playing in the World Cup as hosts.

Malaysia will face Argentina in the semi-finals on Saturday.

"It is a dream to qualify for the World Cup. It is even more sweet that we beat India to achieve it," said Van Huizen after the game.

"We made a tactical decision by playing tight in the third quarter before going for a goal in the final quarter as we knew India would be under pressure.

"It was nervy after our third goal as India attacked and luckily, they muffed an open chance from close range in the final minutes."

Razie's drag flick off a penalty corner set piece beat India goalkeeper Vikas Dahiya in the 19th minute for the first goal.

Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin then deflected Razie's penalty corner set piece a minute later to give Malaysia a healthy lead.

But India responded through Ramandeep Singh with goals in the 24th and 26th minutes.

However, Razie unleashed his powerful drag flick off a penalty corner set piece for the winning goal in the 48th minute.

India, however, have filed a protest to the organisers over the umpire's decision to award Malaysia a penalty corner which resulted in Razie scoring in the next one.

The organisers have accepted the complaint and will review the decision but it will unlikely affect the result.

Meanwhile, Argentina defeated resilient Pakistan 3-1 in the other quarter-final match.

Maico Casella netted a brace in the 22nd and 44th minutes while Gonzalo Peillat scored the other in the 33rd minute.

Peillat has now scored 12 goals in the tournament.

Pakistan responded through Ali Shan's reverse stick goal in the 49th minute.

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