India emerges as Asian Champions Trophy winners after beating Malaysia 4-3text_fields
Chennai: India won the Asian Champions Trophy hockey competition for the fourth time on Saturday by edging Malaysia 4-3 in the championship game.
In the first half, Malaysia was aggressive and the Indians were struggling to contain them.
India converted the first PC in the ninth minute, Jugraj scoring with a fierce flick to the right of the Malaysian goalie.
The Indians got into their groove as the match progressed and played full-press hockey after the sluggish start.
But Malaysia didn't sit back and continued to test the Indian defence. Their efforts bore fruit in the 14th minute when Abu Kamal Azari found the back of the net after being fed by Azuan Hasan from the right flank.
Seconds from the first quarter, India secured back-to-back penalty corners but wasted both chances.
Malaysia kept up their tempo in the second quarter and earned consecutive penalty corners in the 18th minute, the second of which was converted by Razie Rahim as the ball went in after getting a deflection from rusher Amit Rohidas' stick.
Malaysia secured a penalty corner for an unnecessary stick check by Jugraj in the 23rd minute but the effort went wide.
Malaysia got another penalty corner in the 28th minute and this time Muhamad Aminudin made no mistake to hand his side a 3-1 lead at half-time.
Malaysia earned another penalty corner in the 43rd minute but India defended stoutly.
The Indians turned the match on its head in a span of a minute, pumping in two goals to level the scores 3-3.
While India skipper Harmanpreet Singh scored from a penalty stroke in the 45th minute, seconds later Gurjant Singh found the back of the net from field play to make the scoreline 3-3.
India secured a penalty corner six minutes from the final hooter, but Harmanpreet's flick was saved by the opposition goalkeeper.
India kept up the pressure and earned another penalty corner soon, but Harmanpreet's effort went wide.
Akashdeep Singh scored the winner for India with a slapstick from the top of the 'D' after receiving a pass from Mandeep Singh.
With PTI inputs