JOHOR BARU: India again got the better of Malaysia – this time in the Under-21 Sultan of Johor Cup hockey tournament.
The national Under-21 team followed in the footsteps of the senior squad when they were beaten 2-1 at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium here yesterday.
On Sunday, Malaysia also lost 2-1 to India in the Asia Cup final in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Malaysia put up a better performance yesterday compared to the 1-0 loss to Britain in their opening match. They were able to pressure India, the Junior World Cup champions, from the get-go.
The homesters grabbed the lead after only three minutes when Mohammad Firdaus Omar converted a penalty corner.
Stunned, India launced several quick attacks but goalkeeper Muhammad Zaimi Mat Deris put on a sterling performance to frustrate them.
But India’s constant pressure finally paid off. From a long pass from his own half, Dilpreet Singh managed to beat Muhammad Zaimi for the equaliser in the 20th minute.
Dilpreet was again on target, this time in the 43rd minute to give India their second win in as many matches. India were 3-2 winners over Japan on Sunday.
Malaysia coach Wallace Tan said the main difference was India were able to convert their chances.
“The positive thing in both our two matches is that we did not lose by a margin. Our players are still young and lack international experience. But they are getting better in each match,” said Wallace.
The other two teams – defending champions Australia and Britain – also secured their second wins yesterday. Australia whipped Japan 4-0 while Britain thrashed the United States 11-0.