By Jugjet Singh
Malaysia gave their best, but it was not enough to deny India the Asia Cup gold medal in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 22 Oct 2017.
After reaching the final for the first time in 35 years, the Indian hockey team denied glory with a 2-1 victory.
Malaysian players were placed in a tight spot in the third minute itself, when Ramandeep Singh scored the opening goal, and the 6-2 drubbing in the round robin came to mind.
Midfield was completely missing, like in the first three quarters against South Korea, and India players had a field day breaking into the semicircle to take pot shots at goalkeeper S. Kumar.
Kumar brought off a handful of super saves, before India took a 2-0 lead off Lalit Upadhyay in the 29th and the score remained until the half-time break.
Shahril Saabah ignited the fight-back with a field goal in the 50th minute, and India protested, but lost their video referral as well.
And with three minutes left in the match, coach Stephen van Huizen took out goalkeeper S. Kumar for an extra outfield player in a last gasp attempt to draw the match and take it to penalty shoot out.
The tactic worked in Malaysia’s famous 1-1 draw against South Korea, but even though it pinned India in their own semi-circle, Malaysia failed to score. – From Jugjet World of Field Hockey
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