Misfiring India lose to Malaysia, crash out of HWL Semi-Final

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Misfiring India lose to Malaysia, crash out of HWL Semi-Final

India crashed out of the Hockey World League Semi-Final after a shock 3-2 defeat at the hands of Malaysia in a quarterfinal match on Thursday.

Malaysia thus qualify for next year's World Cup to be held in India.

Both teams played an attacking style and there were several chances at either end.

Though India were tipped as favourites to win, a stubborn Malaysian outfit kept the men in blue in the hunt right from the beginning. They made better attempts on goal but India's breakthrough came in the 24th minute when a well-thought through pass by midfielder Sumit set up the goal for forward Ramandeep Singh who stepped in front of Malaysian defender to nick the ball into the post. Malaysia dominated the first quarter as they created more chances. Roelant Oltmans' men had earlier lost 0-1 to the same opponents in the Azlan Shah Cup last month.

India conceded seven penalty corners, three of which were converted by Malaysia through Razie Rahim (19th, 48th minutes) and Tengku Tajuddin. A minute later, Malaysia doubled their lead as Tengku neatly deflected in from their fourth penalty corner.

Malaysia will now clash with world No. 1 Argentina in the semifinals while India will take on Pakistan for the second time in the tournament for the fifth/sixth positions. In the 19th minute, goalkeeper Vikas Dahiya failed to keep Rahim's flick out and the ball went in after hitting his body. Argentina defeated Pakistan 3-1 in Thursday's first quarterfinal at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The ball was then picked up by Chinglensana and improvised by Ramandeep to ensure India levelled the score. Midfielder Sardar Singh helped India win a PC in the 35th minute, but the opportunity to take the lead when amiss with Harmanpreet Singh's flick being well-defended.

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

Two minutes later, he once again found himself at the right place and scored the equaliser after skipper Manpreet Singh messed up a variation effort from India's first penalty corner.

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