IPOH (Malaysia): Conceding last-minute desires have endured to hang-out India for lengthy now, and that is precisely what the group would look to keep away from when it takes on its new-observed ‘nemesis’ Malaysia in its third league match of the Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament here on Tuesday.
After a now not-so-convincing 2-0 win over Asian Games gold medallist Japan within the tournament opener, Manpreet Singh and his guys conceded an aim in the match’s final minute to attract 1-1 towards Korea on Sunday.
India is currently located third in the six-crew standings with 4 points after a win and a draw. Hosts Malaysia is central to the chart with most points after five-1 and a 4-3 win over Poland and Japan.
Korea is inside the 2nd role with four factors, equal to India, but they advance the 8-time Olympic gold medallists due to higher purpose distinction.
On Sunday, India was nicely in the direction to sign in their 2nd consecutive win within the match after taking the lead inside the twenty-eighth minute through Mandeep Singh. But protecting blunders, just 22 seconds from the very last hooter, enabled Jonghyun Jang to attain the equalizer from a penalty corner.
And come Tuesday, the Indians can sick have enough money to copy similar mistakes, especially against a side like Malaysia, which, in the current beyond, have over and overexploited such grey regions to retain to stay a thorn within the flesh for the Blue Sticks.
Considered because the dark-horses of Asian hockey for long, Malaysia have time and again confirmed their abilities by way of provoking the massive groups, at least on the continental stage, while it mattered.
It all started way again in 2010 while Malaysia bowled over India four-3 with a last-minute intention on the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games semifinals.
Eight years later, the Malaysians again inflicted but any other ache on the Indians. This time too, India conceded an ultimate-minute aim within the semifinals of the Jakarta Asian Games to allow their opponents to attract degree and, in the end, win the stumble upon 7-6 in a dramatic penalty shoot-out.
In former India instruct and High-Performance Director Roelant Oltmans, Malaysia has a sensible tactician aware of inside and outside of Indian hockey.
Penalty corner professional Muhammad Razie Rahim is a call which the Indian crew would be cautious of as it is this 31-12 months-vintage who flattened India on more than one occasion, including within the Asian Games semifinal in Jakarta. Although Rahim has scored just as soon as within the tournament, the Indian defense, led by way of Birendra Lakra and goalkeeper PR Sreejesh wants to be extremely cautious come Tuesday.
Besides, the Indian defense may even preserve at bay ‘Saari brothers’ — Fitri and Faizal — especially those who have already scored a hat-trick and are presently the leading scorer within the opposition with five desires.
But the Indians can take coronary heart because it is the same Malaysian aspect which they have thrashed five-1 on the same venue in the final edition of the event in 2018.
All said and completed, the Indians could be eyeing a massive win towards the Malaysians on Tuesday, which might be no longer most effective in bolstering their morale but lift them inside the factors table.
Meanwhile, in different fits of the day, Japan will play Canada simultaneously as South Africa may be up against Korea.