The Indian women’s hockey team entered the final of the Women’s Asian Hockey 5s World Cup Qualifier after defeating Malaysia 9-5 in Salalah, Oman on Monday. For India, Navjot Kaur (7’, 10, 17’), Monika Dipi Toppo (22’), Mahima Choudhary (14’), Mariana Kujur (9’, 12’) and Jyoti (21’, 26’) were on target. For Malaysia, Zati Muhamad (4’, 5’), Dian Nazeri (10’, 20’) and Aziz Zafirah (16’) were on target.

Despite India’s strong start, it was Malaysia that broke the deadlock and took the lead through Muhamad after she successfully converted the challenge goal. A minute later, Malaysia doubled their lead through Muhamad again, scoring a fine field goal. India pulled one back through captain Navjot Kaur’s strike in the seventh minute.

In-form Kujur then flawlessly converted the challenge goal to level the scores. With both teams constantly creating threatening attacks, Malaysia regained the lead through Nazeri in the tenth minute. India immediately counter-attacked and scored two goals, courtesy Navjot Kaur and Kujur, in quick succession to take the lead. With a minute remaining in the first half, India extended their lead through Mahima Choudhary. At the end of the first half, India were leading Malaysia by 5-3.

Both teams came out firing in the second half, making some threatening moves in front of each other’s goal. But it was Malaysia who got on the scoresheet through Zafirah after she converted the Challenge Goal. India added three more goals to their tally – Navjot Kaur scored her third of the match along with, Jyoti and Toppo to make it 8-5 to India. With four minutes remaining, Jyoti scored the ninth goal for India and sealed a World Cup spot along with a place in the final. The match finished with India winning 9-5.

India will now play the final against Thailand at 7:30PM IST on Monday.