India played some sensational hockey to defeat Malaysia 6-1, and book their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup final spot in Ipoh on Friday. With this game being a must-win, India players looked charged up, shone brightly, and silenced the crowd with some dazzling hockey. India will face Australia in the final.
India got off to a brilliant start, with Nikkin Thimmiah scoring a field goal in the minute. India were all over Malaysia in the first five minutes, creating as many as four chances, and converting one. They continued applying pressure on the Malaysia defenders, who were troubled by India players' pace and silky skills. Harjeet Singh doubled the lead in the eighth minute. It was Harjeet's first goal for the senior team.
India could have scored one more goal a few minutes later, but Malaysia's goalkeeper saved it brilliantly to deny SV Sunil another goal in the tournament.
Though Malaysia tried to get back into the game, India looked sharp, and Ramandeep Singh scored the third goal in the 25th minute. It was a close range finish from Ramandeep, who scored his first goal of the competition. India enjoyed a lion share of possession and were threatening Malaysia's goal each and every minute they had the ball in the danger area.
The game was more or less put to bed by Danish Mujtaba, who scored the fourth goal for India in the 27th minute. India looked in complete control during the first half as they outplayed Malaysia in all departments of the game.
There was no such need for India to go all out in the second half after taking such a healthy lead, but they were still searching for the fifth goal. Malaysia started the third quarter decently, but could not convert the little chances they created, but India, who were phenomenal in front of goal, scored their fifth as Ramandeep scored another from close range.
The final quarter of the game witnessed some quality play in the opening minutes by the home team, as Shaaril Saabah scored in the 46th minute, to lift the crowd, who were waiting for the first goal. India's Talwinder Singh replied back with a goal in the 50th minute.
The India defenders were tested in the fourth quarter, and they stood firm to the Malaysia challenge, with the game ending 6-1. It was a clinical performance by India where all their players clicked to secure a huge victory.
Though India might have lost to Australia in the group stages earlier, this victory against Malaysia will give them immense confidence ahead of their final on Saturday.