Salima Tete and Co kept their perfect record in the group stage of the Junior World Cup intact with a 4-0 win over Malaysia.
The win saw them finish top of the group and book a meeting with South Korea in the quaterfinals, but it wasn’t as easy a match as the scoreline might have you believe.
Germany had put 10 past Malaysia in their first match but India came up against a more determined defence.
Malaysia started the match pretty well, sitting deep, defending well and looking for the opportunity to counter. But things were awry when they messed up a trap in their own circle in the ninth minute.
It slowed the ball down and Mumtaz Khan was on hand to finish well. Another goal came in the very next minute – through Sangita Kumari and it looked like Malaysia might not be able to withstand the onslaught.
Lalrindiki scored another goal in the 25th minute to add to Malaysia’s misery.
But Malaysia, playing in their first Junior World Cup, found their resolve in the second half. And they did it but not just while defending. They were more aggressive bringing the ball forward and forced a few good saves out of the Indian goalkeeper too.
A goal-less third quarter gave them confidence but kept India kept them at bay. Just what they would have wanted.
India, though, had their chances but were unable to finish until late in the fourth quarter. Another defensive error led to quick break and then a diving Mumtaz \provided the perfect deflection into the goal. It was the kind of goal that teams spend hours training for.
Going into their quarterfinal against Korea, India will be high on confidence but they will want to do more with the penalty corner opportunities. They had seven in this match but were unable to score from them.
India’s quarterfinal against the Koreans will take place on Friday, at 1230 hrs IST.