India beat Malaysia to win Asia Cup hockey

Not only were India brilliant in attack their players also defended in numbers. Image courtesy Neeraj Tiwari

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday congratulated the Indian hockey team for winning the Asia Cup 2017. India reached the finals after trouncing Pakistan 4-0.

The two top teams of the group will qualify for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates from January 5 to February 1, 2019. India started off the finals in dream fashion as Ramandeep found the back of the net in the first five minutes of the first quarter. India were off to a flyer as SV Sunil and Ramandeep Singh combined to give India an early lead in the third minute.

The second quarter saw both the teams battle it out in the midfield as they looked to establish their authority in the match. Shahril Saabah scored the lone goal for Malaysia in the final.

The third quarter was a balanced one where Malaysia started to open up spaces in the Indian defence but all their efforts were well kept out.

Before this, Malaysia's best achievement was third place in 2007 in Chennai, India.

The Indians, ranked sixth in the world, were in for nervous last 10 minutes as Malaysia went full throttle for an equaliser.

India, however, doubled the lead on the half-hour mark when Akashdeep played on Sumit on the left side and the winger unlashed a fierce hit for Latit, who pushed it into the back of the board. The score was 2-1 heading into the last ten minutes of the game. "But I am really happy how they played, they changed the way we defend in the end and that helped us clinch the final".

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