Antwerp, (Belgium): Jasjit Singh sent two rasping penalty corner drag flicks into the net as India edgedpast hosts Malaysia 3-2 to move to the semifinals of the Hockey World League here today. India were lifted by the two successive penalty corner conversions from Jasjit in the 48th and 55th minutes to avenge their loss to the Malaysians by a similar margin in the Azlan Shah Cup two months ago.
These were the first two drag-flick goals scored by Jasjit in international hockey and they could not have come at a better time for Sardar Singh?s team that took the initial lead through a field goal by Satbir Singh in the third minute. But Malaysia shot back through two penalty corner conversions by captain Razie Rahim (15th minute) and Shahril Saabah (23rd) to seize the advantage. Falling back to defend their territory, Malaysia denied the Indian strikers time and space.
The fast-paced encounter was played with the temperature on the pitch crossing 40 degrees Celsius. India now await the winner of the quarterfinal between hosts Belgium and France.
Earlier, Great Britain defeated Pakistan 2-1 in the quarterfinals to set up a meeting with World champions Australia, who outplayed Ireland 4-1 to enter the semifinals. All quarterfinal winners secured a spot in the World League Finals, to be played in India later this year, and also boosted their prospects of earning one of the three Olympic qualification spots available at this tournament. India have already qualified for the 2016 Olympics by virtue of winning the Asian Games gold medal at Incheon last year.
Against Malaysia today, India surged ahead in the third minute. Akashdeep Singh did the spadework for the goal by darting into the circle from the right flank, sent a crisp cross that beat and Satbir swept the ball into the boards. Malaysia shot back, forcing four penalty corners in the first half, two of which breached the Indian defence to produce goals and put them into the lead at the interval....