Malaysia hold India 3-3 but Sardar Singh’s men edge closer to Asian Cup final | Hockey News

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JAKARTA: India nearly clinched the title round berth before Razie Rahim proved Malaysia’s savior with a hat-trick in a thrilling 3-3 draw in a ‘Super 4’ encounter of the Asian Cup hockey tournament on Sunday.
Rahim (12th, 21st, 56th mins) converted three penalty corners for Malaysia as India fought back gallantly after being trailing by two goals, scoring through Vishnukant Singh (32nd), SV Sunil (53rd) and Nilam Sanjeep Xess (55th).
India earlier beat Japan 2-1 in their opener on Saturday.

Meanwhile, in the other Super 4 league game, South Korea beat Japan 3-1 to move to four points. South Korea drew 2-2 against Malaysia in their first match.
In the current state of the Super 4 table, South Korea with a goal difference of +2 (5-3) is at the top of the table with India (GD) +1 (5-4) is ranked second .
Japan with two losses have no chance of qualifying for the final while Malaysia (GD) 0 (5-5) have an outside chance if they can beat Japan by a full margin (minimum 2 goals) provided that the India and South Korea match ends in a draw.
On this day, Malaysia started strong and put the Indian defense under sustained pressure.

India goalkeeper Suraj Karkera was brought into action in the sixth minute when he made a fine save to block Muhammad Hassan’s return kick.
Malaysia were awarded a penalty corner from the resulting move but Karkera positioned himself perfectly to prevent Faizal Saari’s try.
It was all Malaysia in the first quarter as the Indian team failed to get a single shot on target.
Malaysia’s constant pressure earned them another penalty corner in the 12th minute and this time Rahim beat Karkera with a powerful low kick to the bottom right corner of the board.
The Indians improved their game in the second quarter and created a few chances, but it didn’t result in a goal.
Malaysia, on the other hand, were awarded another penalty corner in the 21st minute and once again Rahim netted as India conceded the game’s second goal.
A minute later, India keeper Karkera came off his line to cut the angle and deny Saari from close range.
Trailing by two goals, the Indians stepped up the pressure after the switch and pulled one back when Vishnukant converted with a rebound after the team earned their first penalty corner.
India earned another short corner in the third quarter, but Malaysian keeper Hafizuddin Othman came to his side’s rescue.
The “Men in Blue” created a few more chances in the third quarter but did not have the decisive touch in the attacking third.
India earned back-to-back penalty corners in the 49th minute but Dipsan Tirkey failed to get past Haifizuddin, who was a rock under the Malaysian post.
India equalized in the 53rd minute, thanks to the crucial presence of Pawan Rajbhar in midfield, where he snatched the ball from an opposing player and then set it up selflessly for Sunil, who scored from a fierce shot from a sharp angle.
Two minutes later, India took the lead for the first time in the match when Nilam Sanjeep converted a penalty corner.
But India’s joy was short-lived as Malaysia equalized a minute later thanks to Rahim’s well-deserved hat-trick.



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