Hockey World Cup: India beats Malaysia, registers first win

Akashdeep Singh scored two goals in the space of three minutes to set up India’s 3-2 victory over Malaysia in the men’s hockey World Cup here on Saturday.

Jasjit Singh Kular opened the scoring for India in the 13th minute and Malaysia equalised in the 45th with a penalty corner conversion by Mohammad Razie, before Akashdeep got into the goal-scoring act, which helped his team post its first win of the tournament.

Akashdeep first applied the finishing touch to Rupinder Pal Singh’s fine run on a counterattack by deflecting in a diagonal cross into the boards in the 49th minute. Two minutes later, he picked up a pass from captain Sardar Singh inside the circle and slammed the ball past the desperate goalkeeper.

Malaysia reduced the lead in the 61st minute when Marhan Jalil fired in on a rebound from Indian goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh from a breakaway move.

The victory gives India four points from as many matches in Group A, and ensures that it would not face the ignominy of being the bottom-placed team in the pool. Irrespective of the result of India’s last group match — against defending champion Australia — it will finish either in fourth or fifth spot.

A combination of results in the last league outings for India, Spain and Malaysia would have bearing on the final group standings. Spain will play Malaysia in its last league outing.

Spain was handed a 5-2 drubbing by Belgium, which is back in contention for a semifinal place, along with Australia and England.

The results:

Men: India 3 (Jasjit Singh Kular 15, Akashdeep Singh 49 & 51) bt Malaysia 2 (Razle Abd Rahim 46, Marhan Jalil 61).

Belgium 5 (Tanguy Cosyns 13 & 38, Alexandre de Saedeleer 16, Emmanuel Stockbroekx 34, John-John Dohmen 47) bt Spain 2 (Eduard Tubau 58, Santi Freixa 66); Australia 4 (Matt Gohdes 1, Liam de Young 13, Jamie Dwyer 29, Kieran Govers 35) bt England 0.

On Saturday: The Netherlands 1 (Jeroen Hertzberger 19) bt Germany 0; Korea 0 drew with South Africa 0.

Women: Korea 4 (Eunbi Cheon 12 & 61, Mihyun Park 49 & 55) bt Belgium 2 (Jill Boon 15, Alix Gernlers 39). — Agencies

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2020 11:50:44 PM |

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