Last night, Malaysia held India to a goalless draw in Asian Champions Hockey Tournament held in Muscat. However, the Indian hockey squad also managed to stay upright with their pole position in the points table in the championship. With this, India remains on the top on basis of a superior goal difference.
The Game: As it Happened
Though India had quite a fidgety start and they wasted several scoring opportunities. While the Harmanpreet Singh’s penalty corner was blocked by the Malaysian goalkeeper, Mandeep Singh failed to get a touch on the left diagonal. Only Akashdeep Singh looked to have carried his decent performance in the match.
The Malaysian team had a strong chance for a counter attack, but they continuously fell back in order to defend their goals against the Indian strikers. The second half didn’t allow any Indian player to even enter the closing circles, although they had a chance for two penalty corners but could not produce the goal bearing shots.
This also involved a phase when Tengku Tajuddin from Malaysia was shown a yellow card for a deliberate foul on Captain Manpreet Singh. Nilankta Sharma, too, missed certain good chances.
“I am not happy. We cannot miss chances like this international hockey”, expressed Harendra Singh, the Indian chief coach. He also rued over of how they couldn’t use the spate of chances they had.
“We faced extreme pressure in the last phase after the yellow card. Otherwise, the game was more of less what we expected”, quoted the Malaysian coach Oltmans.
Currently, India is leading the points table in its league, after having won matches against Pakistan, Japan and Oman.
Today, the Indian hockey team will be playing their fifth robin round match against South Korea.