MALAYSIA won the capacity crowd cheers, but lost 3-2 to India in a highly entertaining Azlan Shah Cup match in Ipoh yesterday.
The win gave India renewed hope of playing in the final, while Malaysia stare at another bottom finish.
It was all Malaysia for the first five minutes as they hit the post, and then Faizal Saari failed to tap in from close range twice.
But India went ahead with two quick goals, as Danish Mujtaba stole the first in the 10th minute, while Shivendra Singh turned a botched penalty corner into goal in the 13th minute.
Shivendra failed to stop the push-out but cooly collected the ball and shot from the top of the semi-circle past goalkeeper S. Kumar’s open pads.
The goal was hotly disputed by the Malaysians, who felt that the hit was taken from outside the semi-circle, but the umpire stood his ground.
The score stood into the break, but after the restart, it was all Faizal again as he kept the Indian defenders busy.
Faizal’s 40th minute attempt won Malaysia their second penalty corner, and Amin Rahim made sure with a powerful flick.
But even before the fans could celebrate the goal, Tushar Khandker’s volley cracked open the Malaysian goalmouth for the third time in the 44th minute.
However, where his brother Faizal failed, Fitri took it upon himself to reduce the deficit with a super cracker in the 58th minute but India held onto the slim lead for the remaining minutes.
In another match, Argentina played fancy hockey in an entertaining 3-2 win over Olympic hosts Britain.
The Pan-American champions have six points from two wins and two defeats and they kept their hopes alive for a place in the final with that win.
Argentina scored off a counter attack in the eight minute when Enrique Paredes slammed in a rebound.
Britain equalised in the 39th minute off their third penalty corner when Ashley Jackson’s low flick sailed past goalkeeper Daniel Bermejillo.
But Argentina regain the lead two minutes later when Agustin Mazzilli’s long cross from the centre off the field was well deflected into goal by Paredes.
Lucas Cammareri scored from close range to make it 3-1 in the 60th minute and all Britain could do was narrow the deficit off another a penalty corner by Jackson five minutes from time.
In the first match of the day, South Korea outplayed Pakistan 4-0 to register their first win in four matches.
P W D L F A PTS
N ZEALAND 3 3 0 0 13 4 9
ARGENTINA 4 2 0 2 11 14 6
INDIA 4 2 0 2 8 11 6
BRITAIN 3 1 1 1 8 8 4
S KOREA 4 1 1 2 9 7 4
PAKISTAN 3 1 0 2 5 9 3
MALAYSIA 3 0 2 1 6 7 2
RESULTS: South Korea 4 Pakistan 0, Britain 2 Argentina 3, India 3 Malaysia 2.
WEDNESDAY: Argentina v India (4pm), Britain v New Zealand (6pm), Pakistan v Malaysia (8pm).