MELBOURNE, Nov 27: India put up a dominating performance to beat Malaysia 4-1 in the bronze medal play off match today and finish at third position in the Four Nations Invitational Tournament here.
The Indians managed to control the proceedings from start to finish, scoring twice in the final quarter to post a much deserved victory.
Shrugging off yesterday’s disappointment, India were looking to strike and consolidate early to avoid any pressure from the Malaysians. They started off with several quick turnovers and passes, before scoring as early as in the second minute of play.
Birendra Lakra picked up the ball near centre field and drove his shot diagonally into the circle. The cross evaded everyone, before falling to Akashdeep Singh lurking at the far post. Akashdeep showed great awareness and superb skill to deflect the ball in and give India the lead.
India kept control throughout the quarter and had several more chances, most notably with a flurry of four consecutive penalty corners right at the death, but the Malaysians defended stoutly to go into the first break down by one goal. In the second quarter, India forward Affan Yousuf came closest to scoring a goal, expertly steering past three Malaysian defenders before unleashing a reverse hit towards the goal. However, Malaysia’s goalkeeper Kumar Subramiam was up to the challenge as he put it away to deny India a goal.
Malaysia picked up the pace in the final minutes of the second quarter but despite several circle penetrations, they failed to create any real chances. – PTI