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Indian men make it to semis

Posted in Sports


Published on July 03, 2015 with No Comments

Jasjit Singh sent two rasping penalty-corner drag-flicks into the net as India edged past Malaysia 3-2 to move into the semifinals of the Hockey World League Semifinals at Antwerp in Belgium.
India were lifted by the two successive penalty-corner conversions by 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.
India took the initial lead through a field goal by Satbir Singh in the third minute. Akashdeep Singh did the spadework for the goal by darting into the circle from the right flank, sent in a crisp cross, and Satbir swept the ball into the net.
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. That, however, didn’t matter in the end with Jasjit scoring sounding the board twice to give India the much-needed victory.
The fast-paced encounter was played in temperatures crossing 40 degrees Celsius. 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.


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