Hockey Asia Cup, Super 4s: India thrash Malaysia 6-2 to go top of table

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Dhaka: A clinical India maintained their unbeaten run in the tournament with a 6-2 thrashing of Malaysia in their second Super 4 match of the 10th men’s Asia Cup here on Thursday.

It was a perfect display of attacking hockey as the Indian strikers toyed with the Malaysian defence with short passes, one-touch ball delivery to pump five beautiful field goals.

India scored five field goals through Akashdeep Singh (15th minute), S K Uthappa (24th), Gurjant Singh (33rd), S V Sunil (40th) and Sardar Singh (60th), while Harmanpreet converted a penalty corner in the 19th minute.

Malaysia’s goals came from the sticks of Razie Rahim (50th) and Ramadan Rosli (59th).

For Malaysia, who looked impressive with an all-win record so far, this was their first loss in the event.

By virtue of the win, the Indians have also avenged their twin defeats — 0-1 in Azlan Shah Cup and 2-3 in Hockey World League Semi-finals in London — earlier this year.

The win propelled India to the top of Super 4 stage after they drew 1-1 against Korea yesterday.

Earlier in the day, Korea and Pakistan played out a 1-1 draw in another Super 4 match.

The Indians, who found it difficult to breach Korea’s resolute defence, came out with purpose and dominated the proceedings.

After wasting a penalty corner, Lalit Upadhayay shot off Ramandeep Singh’s pass was saved by the stretched legs of Malaysian goalkeeper Kumar Subramaniam.

But India took the lead seconds before the end of the first quarter when Akashdeep found the net with a powerful shot after receiving an inch-perfect pass from skipper Manpreet Singh from the halfway mark.

Tengku Tajuddin then missed an easy chance for Malaysia.

Malaysia tried to dictate the pace of the game in the second quarter and earned two penalty corners, but wasted both.

Harmanpreet doubled India’s lead in the 19th minute with a powerful flick off the side’s third penalty corner.

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