24 June, 2017
Malaysia put up a good performance against world No. 10 Spain before losing 3-1 in a Group B match of the women's World Hockey League Semi-Finals in Brussels, Belgium on Thursday.
While the Indians played attacking hockey, the Malaysians preferred to sit back and defend and rely on counter-attacks.
All of Malaysia's goals came from penalty corners, and both of India's goalkeepers, Vikas Dahiya and Akash Chikte, were beaten at least on one occasion by the sting in the drag-flick of Razie Rahim. Both Indian goals were scored by Ramandeep Singh, who later was guilty of missing a last-minute sitter as he tapped a ball out from the goalmouth.
Ranked sixth in the world, India start as overwhelming favourites against the 14th placed Malaysia but the 0-1 defeat against the same opponents last month in the Azlan Shah Cup Oltmans' men would be fresh in the minds of the Indians, going into tomorrow's game.
In other quarter finals fixtures, India will face off against Malaysia, Netherlands against China and England against Canada.
The two teams couldn't make much progress in the third quarter.
The Netherlands will play England in the last four after the host nation emerged from a thrilling battle with Canada on the right side of a 4-2 scoreline.
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On the other hand, Argentina has had a dream run and has been undefeated in the competition so far.
Australia consolidated their position at the summit of the group as Georgina Morgan's penalty corner was enough to earn a 1-0 victory over the host nation at the Stade Fallon. The 1-1 result remained until the end of the first half.
Action is scheduled to resume on Saturday.
The goal seemed to perk up the Indians and they peppered the Malaysian goal with repeated attacks.
Muhammad Razie turned a hero for Malaysia after scoring the winning goals in the 48th minute to seal a World Cup spot for the country. The ball flew past the open Malaysian goalmouth.