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Hockey: India, Malaysia join Korea, Pakistan in Asian Games semis

India (blue) beat China 2-0 to secure a semi-final clash against Asian Games hosts Korea. Photo: Asian Hockey Federation.

India (blue) beat China 2-0 to secure a semi-final clash against Asian Games hosts Korea. Photo: Asian Hockey Federation.

September 28, 2014: Malaysia defeated Japan 4-1 and India beat China 2-0 on Saturday to join pool winners Pakistan and hosts Korea in the Asian Games semi-finals, which will be held on Tuesday. Pakistan will face Malaysia, while Korea take on India.

 

Pakistan and Korea both recorded a fourth win in Incheon on Saturday, beating Oman (8-0) and Bangladesh (7-0) respectively to each top their pool with four wins in four matches, while conceding only one goal each.

 

Malaysia could have progressed with a draw against Japan, who needed a win, but their task was made even harder when Firhan Ashari put Malaysia ahead in the second minute.

 

Japan drew level within in the first quarter, but soon after Razie Abd Rahim – Malaysia’s man of the match – restored the lead from a penalty corner. Malaysia scored two more, scoring four goals from seven opportunities, while Japan only scored with one of 11 shots.

 

India had more difficulty, doing battle with a tough China side who kept the match open well into the second half. China created a similar number of opportunities to India, but were unable to score. China coach Cui Yingbiao was especially frustrated with the failure to convert penalty corners, pointing out that the team had only scored one penalty corner in three matches.

 

India coach Terry Walsh was happy to reach the semis, but was not entirely happy with his team’s performance, citing a lack of fluidity, good decision-making and cohesion as the main aspects holding the team back.

 

Singapore and Sri Lanka will play for ninth place on Monday, Bangladesh and Oman will square off for seventh place on Tuesday, while Japan will face China for fifth spot on Thursday.

 

On the last day of women’s pool play on Friday, Japan and India joined China and Korea in the semi-finals. China defeated Thailand 5-0 and Korea thrashed Hong Kong 8-0 to each finish top of their group.

 

In Monday’s semi-finals, China will face Japan, while Korea take on India. Also on Monday, Thailand and Hong Kong will play for seventh, while Malaysia and Kazakhstan play for fifth place on Wednesday.

 

For more information, visit: www.asiahockey.org

 

Source: FIH (www.fih.ch); Editing by SportAsia

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