Indian eves hold Malaysia, storm into semis


Defender Binita Toppo scored the equaliser in the 27th minute after Juliani Mohamad Din surprised India early in the fourth minute of the match.
With two wins and as many draws, India finished their group proceedings at the second spot and will take on formidable South Korea in the semifinals. China topped Group A and will face Japan in the last four stage.

Earlier, undefeated Korea thrashed hapless Chinese Taipei 15-0 to register their fourth successive win and top Group B ahead of Japan.
Even though going into the match, they needed just a draw to progress to the semifinals, India would be disappointed to have split points with the Malaysians. The draw denied India a relatively easy semifinal outing against off-colour Japan as they needed an outright win to top Group A.

Malaysian striker Din stole the show early into the match with an immaculate penalty corner conversion in the fourth minute much against the run of play. Stung by the early goal. India went all out and their efforts bore fruit in the 27th minute when Binita found the net with a carpet drive after Deepika Thakur did the spade work from India’s fourth penalty corner to go into the breather tied 1-1.

“We gave the advantage to our rivals. We certainly lost the advantage, my forwards’ positioning was wrong. We know the Malaysians will defend heavily, and go for occasional run downs. They did this exactly and got the results. Their shifting was perfect,” coach M K Kaushik said after the match.

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