Indian women beat Malaysia

Hockey Correspondent

DOHA: India could manage only a 4-2 win over Malaysia in the women's hockey competition here on Wednesday. India led 3-1 at half-time.

A lively Indian attack really stretched the Malaysian defence. Saba Anjum was the cynosure of all eyes with adequate support from Surinder Kaur and Jasjeet Handa.

The verve came largely on account of the early goal by from a penalty corner skirmish by Asuntha Lakra, who played the role of a pivot to near perfection.

Though the lead did not last long as Kannagi Arumugam restored parity within minutes, the Indians held the upper hand and could have finished the first half with a much larger margin.

Midway through a neat penalty corner conversion by Binita Toppo followed by a fine goal by Saba Anjum that culminated after Subdra Pradhan and Jasjeet Handa had an attempt at the goal enlarged the margin.

Tenacious defence

The Malaysian defence held on tenaciously. Full praise should go to goalkeeper Ernawati who made striking saves from penalty corners. India had eight in the match, six in the second half.

India had to miss the services of skipper Jyoti Kullu following a head injury in a tackle with Nor Hasliza midway in the second half. She had to be assisted off the field for medical attention.

Just as everything sailing smoothly, Malaysia struck from a beautiful deflection goal by Nadia. In the closing minutes Mamta Kharab deflected in a penalty corner hit by Binita Toppo.

India now has a tally of six from three matches against the three by Malaysia from the same number of matches.

Manages a draw

After a pulsating draw against Pakistan in men's Pool A the other day, Malaysia managed a draw with Japan on Wednesday afternoon.

Actually, Malaysia had to chase the goals as Japan was ahead twice. With only two points, Malaysia needs to look out for an upset verdict, or huge victory margins against Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong. The results: Men: Pool A: Japan 2 (Toshiro Yamabori 2) drew with Malaysia 2 (Chua Boon Huat, Abdulla). Pakistan 10 (Tariq Aziz, Zubair Muhammad 2, Muhammad Waqas 2, Imran Muhammad 3, Shakeel Abbasi, Imran Warsi) bt Hong Kong 1 (Arif Ali).

Women: India 4 (Asuntha Lakra, Binita Toppo, Saba Anjum, Mamta Kharb) bt Malaysia 2 (Kanngi Arumugam, Nadia).

China 1 (Ma Yibo) bt Korea 0. Chinese Taipei 0 drew with Hong Kong 0.

Thursday's matches: Men: Pool B: China v Bangladesh (12.30 p.m.); Korea v Oman (2.30 p.m.); Pool A: Hong Kong v Malaysia (5.30 p.m.); Japan v Chinese Taipei (7.30 p.m.).