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System breakdown and unforced errors end Indian hopes of reaching Azlan Shah final

Published: 05th May 2017 09:22 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th May 2017 09:26 PM   |  A+A-

India’s hat-trick hero Mandeep Singh (left) in action during the Azlan Shah Cup encounter against Japan on Wednesday. (File photo)

Express News Service

IPOH: The England side and the organisers need not have worried. India never looked in danger of getting anywhere near scoring. If anything, it looked like they were going out of their way to avoid scoring at all costs. And the 0-1 defeat to the hosts who picked up their first win of the tournament was not surprising.

One moment best symbolised a strangely listless display from the Indians. In the 53rd minute, Rupinder Pal Singh was free on the right. With four Indian players waiting inside the striking circle, even a decent cross would have troubled the Malaysian defence.

However, he hurried the pass and it went sailing over the four Indian heads and straight out of bounds. What was more baffling was India's inability to find the target against opponents who have conceded a truckload of goals to the same opposition in the last 12 months. Six at the Azlan Shah, four goals twice in a four-nation invitational tournament in Australia and two in a group game of the Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan. 

Japan stun Oz

Japan stunned world champions Australia 3-2 to record one of their most significant victories in the sport. What made the scoreline even more remarkable was they were trailing 0-2 at one stage. GB, who eked past the Kiwis 3-2, made their first final in 23 years.

Results: Great Britain 3 (Sam Ward 9, Phil Roper 39, Mark Gleghorne 49) bt New Zealand 2 (Dominic Newman 30, Kane Russell 58); Japan 3 (Shota Yamada 44, Koji Yamasaki 56, 57) bt Australia 2 (Aaron Kleinschmidt 7, Trent Mitton 31); Malaysia 1 (Shahril Saabah 51) bt India 0.  

Saturday's classification matches: 5/6th: Japan vs Malaysia. 3/4: New Zealand vs India. Final: Australia vs Great Britain. 



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