Wrapping it up

This is a shocking result for India. They came to Jakarta to defend their gold comfortably and book the berth for the 2020 Olympics. Now they will have to traverse a long, winding path to get to Tokyo. Who would have thought that the team that finished a close second to Australia in the Champions Trophy will lose to Malaysia at the Asian Games. Coach Harendra Singh, captain Sreejesh and the rest of the team will find it hard to digest this defeat. But they have one more match to play in the competition. They will now take on the loser of Pakistan versus Japan in the bronze medal match on Saturday.

There was nothing much to separate the two sides in this contest. Malaysia, clearly, played their best match of the tournament when it mattered the most. This victory they will remember for long. Truly a match for the ages.

Unbelievable scenes at the GBK Hockey Field in Jakarta. Both teams wouldn’t believe the result of this match. Malaysia, however, played their hearts out and are deserved victors.

The Indians are down on their knees, faces glum. The Malaysians are shedding tears of joy. They were the underdogs, ranked 12th in the world. Upset of the tournament so far. India, once again, will end up not defending the gold medal at the Asian Games.

(Sudden death) India 4-5 Malaysia: SV Sunil has to score to keep India alive. OH DEAR! HE MISSES! INDIA’S FINAL HOPES ARE SHATTERED!

(Sudden death) India 4-5 Malaysia: Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin scores again to restore Malaysia’s lead.

(Sudden death) India 4-4 Malaysia: Dilpreet drew the goalie forward, made him go off balance, got past him and pushed the ball into an unguarded net. Phew, India equalise again.

(Sudden death) India 3-4 Malaysia: Faizal Saari. Four goals on the trot for Malaysia. India constantly catching up.

(Sudden death) India 3-3 Malaysia: Manpreet scores, phew, India stay alive again. This is nailbiting stuff.

(Sudden death) India 2-3 Malaysia: Meor Muhamad Azuan Hasan was calm and composed, drawing Sreejesh out and he’s put Malaysia ahead again.

(Sudden death) India 2-2 Malaysia: Akashdeep befuddles the keeper, keeps India in the hunt.

(Sudden death) India 1-2 Malaysia: Mohd Fitri Saari scores to put Malaysia back in the lead.

(Sudden death) India 1-1 Malaysia: Harmanpreet Singh had to score that and he did! Once again, he keeps India alive.

(Sudden death) India 0-1 Malaysia: Muhammad Firhan Ashari scores to put Malaysia ahead.

India 2/5-1/4 Malaysia: Mohd Fitri Saari converts it. It’s 2-2. Sudden death now.

India 2/5-1/4 Malaysia: Harmanpreet’s all cool. He’s rounded the keeper with a swivel. Superb goal. Now, Malaysia has to score to stay alive.

India 1/4-1/4 Malaysia: Meor Muhamad Azuan missed it!

India 1/4-1/3 Malaysia: SV Sunil misses it! More pressure on India. Top class keeping by Sreejesh and Subramiam

India 1/3-1/3 Malaysia: Faizal Saari misses it. Excellent save by Sreejesh despite being down on the ground.

India 1/3-1/2 Malaysia: Dilpreet misses his chance. Oh dear. Nerves for India.

India 1-1 Malaysia: Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin faults as the ball hits his foot.

India 1-1 Malaysia: And, Akashdeep Singh gets it done without much trouble. Equalises for India.

India 0-1 Malaysia: Muhammad Firhan Ashari converts! Malaysia are ahead.

India 0-0 Malaysia: Manpreet Singh goes first, trying to put India ahead. Oh dear! Manpreet’s been called for obstructing the keeper. India lose their first chance.

Alright then, time for the shootouts. Two high quality goalkeepers. Who’ll blink first?

HOOTER! And, yes, we are headed for a shootout. Malaysia have sneaked in a goal at the very last minute to make things incredibly tough for India. It can be anyone’s game now. The last time India played a shootout was against Australia in the Champions Trophy final and they lost that one. What’s it going to for India this time? We are minutes away from the shootout.

Fourth quarter (2 minutes to go) India 2-1 Malaysia: Penalty corner with less than two minutes to go for the Malaysians. Can they turn it around?

GOAL! They do! Muhammad Abd Rahim has done it for Malaysia. He and his teammates are ecstatic. Well, well, well... are we headed for a shootout?

Fourth quarter (4 minutes to go) India 2-1 Malaysia: India are back to playing 11 men. They attack immediately. Dilpreet’s tomahawk hit accidentally lands on the face of a Malaysian defender. He’s hurt.

Fourth quarter (8 minutes to go) India 2-1 Malaysia: Sardar Singh’s back after serving a five-minute suspension. We are midway through the final quarter. India’s still trying to keep possession, bide time till they are back on full strength (Surender Kumar’s still out after getting a yellow card). Time’s running out for Malaysia.

Fourth quarter (10 minutes to go) India 2-1 Malaysia: SV Sunil dives to clear a dangerous ball in the middle of the Malaysian circle. But PC for Malaysia. Muhammad Razie Abd Rahim almost scores for Malaysia. The ball takes a deflection off Sreejesh and hits the bar. Inches away from the net.

Fourth quarter (13 minutes to go) India 2-1 Malaysia: Another foul, another yellow card to the Indians. Surender Kumar will be out for the next five minutes. India are down to nine men. This could be crucial.

Fourth quarter (14 minutes to go) India 2-1 Malaysia: Malaysia get a PC within the first minute of the last quarter. Faizal Saari’s attempt is saved without much trouble by Sreejesh.

End of third quarter, India 2-1 Malaysia: This has been the most riveting encounter India’s been a part of this Asian Games. The Malaysians, despite conceding the first goal, bounced back to score the equaliser. But the Indians got two Penalty Corners and they have capitalised on them. But it’s just a difference of one goal. Anything can happen in the next 15 minutes. Also, Sardar Singh has got a yellow card, which means India will be playing with 10 men in the first five minutes of the last quarter.

Third quarter (2 minutes to go) India 2-1 Malaysia: What a few minutes this has been. Three goals in five minutes. India got the opportunity when they were down and like good teams always do, they have capitalised on them.

GOAL! Wow, superb Penalty Corner. Not a lot of variations have worked for India in this tournament. This time it does and it’s delightful to watch. Harmanpreet deceives the Malaysian defence by seemingly going for a powerful hit. But he actually takes the ball a little forward and passes it to Varun Kumar, who’s a little behind. Kumar fires a drive to the left bottom corner. And India’s back on the lead.

GOAL! Brilliant counterattack. The Indian defence was caught off guard. Mohammed Fitri Saari had broken away on a three vs two situation in the Indian circle and unleashed a drive from the right. The ball touches Faizal Saari’s stick and goes intot the net.

Third quarter (7 minutes to go) India 1-0 Malaysia: Looks like a bad collision. Surender Kumar rushes in from the defence to steal the ball from the Malaysian attacker. Collides with him instead and he’s holding his knee in pain... He’s up though. Nothing serious it looks like.

Third quarter (9 minutes to go) India 1-0 Malaysia: The Malaysians are more on the attack after conceding the first goal to India. This makes things interesting. And will increase the pace of the already fast game.

GOAL! Harmanpreet Singh has converted India’s sixth penalty corner. Good placement and angle. After receiving the injection from Akashdeep, he struck the ball to the right corner of the net. The ball hits the hand of the Malaysian skipper Mohamad Abdul Mutalib and deflects into the net.

Third quarter (13 minutes to go) India 0-0 Malaysia: Muhamad Azuan Hasan played a superb one-two, sneaked into the Indian defence and on the run, with a narrow angle to aim at, struck a shot that went a little wide. Anxious moments for the Indian defence.

We are back again after the long break post second quarter...

End of second quarter India 0-0 Malaysia: Rupinder Pal Singh unleashed a drive from the the well outside the D. They reckon the ball has hit the leg of the Malaysian defender inside the D. They ask for a referral in search of a last-minute PC. But replays show that it struck the defender’s leg just outside the D. Which means, the second quarter, too, will end without a goal. This has been an even contest so far by both teams.

Second quarter (3 minutes to go) India 0-0 Malaysia: Good build up by India, making passes. Trying to change the pace of the game. The match has slowed down a bit in the last two minutes or so.

Second quarter (6 minutes to go) India 0-0 Malaysia: Manpreet Singh, from outside the D, unleashes a drive, hoping for Akashdeep to deflect it into the net. But the ball goes wide and the deadlock remains.

Second quarter (8 minutes to go) India 0-0 Malaysia: Within half a minute, Indians make a counterattack and they get a penalty corner. Harmanpreet Singh goes for a goal. It is saved by the ‘keeper. Both the goalies have been solid so far in the match.

Second quarter (9 minutes to go) India 0-0 Malaysia: Penalty Corner for Malaysia! Faizal Saari’s drag flick is saved by Sreejesh. He’s hardly had any work to do in the group stage. But he’s in the limelight again today. And, he’s saved his team on a few occasions already.

Second quarter (12 minutes to go) India 0-0 Malaysia: Sustained pressure by India in the Malaysian circle in the last minute or so. Malaysia have been solid in defence and matched the Indians for pace.

End of first quarter, India 0-0 Malaysia: The Indians, surely, would be surprised with Malaysia’s game. They haven’t held back. They have been on the offence. They have made some good counterattacks to put India under pressure. And, they almost took the lead, too (but the goal was disallowed after a referral). Sreejesh was good in front of the net.

First quarter (2 minutes to go) India 0-0 Malaysia: Muhammad Razie Abd Rahim makes a good attempt off a Penalty Corner. But Sreejesh saves it without much trouble. Oh, well, looks like there’s a foul by Manpreet. Yet another PC for Malaysia.

First quarter (3 minutes to go) India 0-0 Malaysia: Penalty Corner for India. Malaysian defender plays a backstick. Rupinder’s shot is blocked by the onrushing Malaysian defender. Another PC. Once again Rupinder’s shot is blocked.

First quarter (5 minutes to go) India 0-0 Malaysia: Penalty Corner for India. Vivek Sagar Prasad had the opportunity to slot the ball in but the Malaysian ‘keeper, once again, was up to the task. But yellow card for Muhammad Hassan. which means Malaysia will be a man short for the rest of this quarter.

First quarter (7 minutes to go) India 0-0 Malaysia: Good start by Malaysia this. They haven’t held back against the fifth ranked team in the world, despite that early attack. The Malaysian counterattacking has been good. But can they keep up with the pace of the Indians though?

First quarter (10 minutes to go) India 0-0 Malaysia: Penalty Corner for Malaysia after Amit Rohidas commits a foul. Malaysia put the ball into the net after a brilliantly executed penalty corner, where the ball was given to the injector Muhammad Firhan. But India refer and replays show that the ball has hit the leg of the Malaysian attacker. Goal cancelled. But nervy moment for India.

First quarter (12 minutes to go) India 0-0 Malaysia: Malaysia counter-attack without success in the first chance they get to but the Indians are in firm control of this match. India are better at passing, pace and attack.

First quarter (14 minutes to go) India 0-0 Malaysia: Penalty Corner within the first minute of the start. Harmanpreet Singh strikes the ball after India try a variation. Save by the Malaysian goalie S Kumar.

03:52 pm Starting XIs

03:45 pm

Road to the semi-final:-

India: beat Indonesia 17-0, beat Hong Kong China 26-0, beat Japan 8-0, beat Korea 5-3, beat Sri Lanka 20-0

Malaysia: beat Kazakhstan 16-2, beat Thailand 10-0, beat Bangladesh 7-0, lost to Pakistan 1-4, beat Oman 7-0

03:37 pm The Malaysian team warming up for the game against India.

03:30 pm: “Every experience is an opportunity to learn and grow and I hope you will be rich in experience and richer in your ambitions after the Asian Games.”

- Indian captain PR Sreejesh to his teammates in an inspiring letter.

03:25 pm: With the confidence of scoring 76 goals so far in the tournament and on an eight-match winning streak (including the 3-0 whitewash of New Zealand after the Champions Trophy), India have established themselves as the firm favourites to clinch the gold medal again and book their spot in the 2020 Olympics. But Malaysia, the second-highest ranked side in Asia, have troubled India in the recent past when not expected.

FIH Rankings:

India: 5

Malaysia: 12

03:21 pm: A breakdown of India’s goalscoring exploits in the group stage:

Indonesia 10/28 6/11 1/1
Hong Kong China 17/39 9/21 0/0
Japan 6/16 1/6 1/1
Korea 4/10 0/5 1/1
Sri Lanka 12/29 7/16 1/1

03:18 pm: Indian captain PR Sreejesh wrote an inspiring letter to his teammates, talking about the importance of the Games. That and more, in this behind the scenes look. Read about it here.

03: 10 pm Hello guys! Lot’s of sporting action today, eh? (with the third Test between India and England starting). Good that you are here though. For, this is India’s first high pressure match of the tournament. They have won five games win five matches in this edition of the Asian Games. Four, they won with huge margins. Also, they are on an eight-match winning streak. And, they have scored 76 goals in this tournament alone (yeah, you read that right). All of this make Sreejesh and his men the firm favorites of this semi-final against Malaysia.