India ended its 10-year wait for continental triumph when it defeated a gutsy Malaysia 2-1 in third Asia Cup hockey.
India won the Asia Cup last time in 2007 in Chennai. They scored from field efforts through Ramandeep Singh (3rd minute) and Lalit Upadhyay (29th) to dash Malaysian hopes. Malaysia were in summit clash for the first time since tournament’s inception.
The Indians, ranked sixth in the world, were in for nervous last 10 minutes but the defence did enough to hold on to the lead.
For Malaysia, it was their best result in the tournament. They had earlier won the bronze in the 2007 edition of the event in Chennai.
The Indians came out all guns blazing and took the lead as early as the third minute through Ramandeep. Scored from a rebound after his initial deflection from SV Sunil’s cross hit the post.
For India’ new chief coach Marijne Sjoerd, it was perfect start to his stint as the Asia Cup was his maiden tournament in charge of the senior national side.
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) October 22, 2017
India, earlier in the Super 4s match against Malaysia. They thrashed them 6-2 with Akashdeep, Harmanpreet, Uthappa, Gurjant, Sunil and Sardar Singh being the scorers.
India, being the highest-ranked team in the tournament. They have displayed brilliant form throughout with a 1-1 draw against South Korea in their first Super 4s match being the only blip.
During the last 10 minutes, Malaysia mounted attack after attack in search of an equaliser. It had a golden opportunity to take the match into shoot-out after it got its third penalty corner, but the Indian defence stood tall.
With three minutes remaining for the final hooter, Malaysia withdrew goalkeeper for an extra player but the move failed to yield the desired result.
The result (final): India 2 (Ramandeep Singh 3, Lalit Upadhyay 29) bt Malaysia 1 (Shahril Saabah 50).
Third place: Pakistan 6 bt Korea 3.