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India To Take On Pakistan
January 21 2018, 12:04 | Van Peters
India will be keen to regroup
They need to start firing as the HWL Semi Final also happens to be a qualifying tournament for the 2018 Women's World Cup in London.
Ramandeep (24th minute) brought India back into the game when he exploited some poor marking by the Malaysian defenders to deflect in a cross from Sumit.
Malaysia were 2-0 up by the 20th minute as Razie Rahim and Tengku Tajuddin both converted penalty corners.
Lola Riera, meanwhile, was the heroine for Spain scoring two goals - in the 31st minute off a penalty stroke and from a penalty corner in the 36th minute.
However, the hockey team had lost the final game in the group stage to The Netherlands by a 3-1 margin. Razie's first penalty corner flick was blocked by goalkeeper Vikas Dahiya and the rebound went to Faizal Saari, who shot into the side of the net despite having a view of the goal.
In the last-four encounter today, Malaysia will take on Olympic champions Argentina, while the Indian team will go into a minor-placing playoff against Pakistan.
While for the Indian team a loss would be disastrous after such a convincing win in the pool stage and it will raise question marks over Coach Oltmans and his team's progress in the last one year.
The semi-finals are due to be held on Saturday (June 24).
India remained unbeaten in the tournament until Tuesday, with strong wins against Scotland (4-1), Canada (3-0) and Pakistan (7-1). The first quarter ended goalless with Malaysia controlling the proceedings.
Action is scheduled to resume on Saturday. Malaysia, on the other hand, were compact in their defensive structure initially and also troubled India's backline. While Mandeep's deflection off Harmanpreet's pass went just wide, three minutes later veteran Malaysia goalkeeper Kumar Subramiam made a brilliant save to deny Akashdeep Singh. However, in the quarterfinal, they were up for a huge surprise as Malaysia ran out 3-2 winners, making this India's second loss to their Asian rivals after the 1-0 defeat at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2017.
The goal seemed to perk up the Indians and they peppered the Malaysian goal with repeated attacks.