Published: Sat, June 24, 2017
Sport | By Fredrick Flores

Malaysia lose to Spain in women's World Hockey League Semi-Finals

Malaysia lose to Spain in women's World Hockey League Semi-Finals

However, if Malaysia at world number 14 secure a semifinal berth by upsetting India Thursday, their route to the World Cup is secured besides qualifying for the HWL Final Round in India from Dec 1-10 this year. Razie Rahim, who opened Malaysia's scoring in the 19th minute, told HT: "It is a dream come true".

Rahim (19th, 48th minutes) scored off penalty corners as the Malaysians knocked the Indians out of the tournament. India though got back with Ramandeep finding the net twice within two minutes in the second quarter. "We have been waiting for this day for a long time".

India started off the tournament in fine fashion, winning their first three group matches against Scotland (4-1), Canada (3-0) and Pakistan (7-1) before losing 3-1 to the Netherlands in their final group stage.

However, in the quarter finals, Pakistan faced mighty Olympic and World champions, Argentina which beat the green shirts 3-1.

Lola sealed the first victory for Spain in the tournament by converting a penalty corner five minutes later.

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Forward Nani scored but a review by video assistants showed a Portugal player was offside in the build up to the goal. The superstar marched down the left and played a brilliant ball across the box to Ricardo Quaresma for the lead.

Barring Ramandeep and Akshdeep, no other striker could excel and the duo would look for more support from the likes of Mandeep Singh, Talwinder Singh and SV Sunil. It was set up by a sizzling cross from the left by Sumit and Ramandeep made no mistake with a crisp deflection.

Two minutes later, he once again found himself at the right place and scored the equaliser after skipper Manpreet Singh messed up a variation effort from India's first penalty corner. India went all guns blazing in Q3 but Malaysia defended well and frustrated the Indian forward. Midfielder Sardar Singh helped India win a PC in the 35th minute, but the opportunity to take the lead when amiss with Harmanpreet Singh's flick being well-defended.

But Ramandeep ran out of luck when it mattered most.

Malaysia built their game around counterattacks. But against India, they have often given a good contest. The early goals put India under pressure and just like the match against The Netherlands, it turned out to be a story of missed chances for India.

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