KAKAMIGAHARA — India continued its winning streak, beating Malaysia 2-0 in the team's last Pool A match at the Women’s Asia Cup held at Kakamigahara Kawasaki Stadium here Oct. 31.
Vandana Katariya (54th minute) and Gurjit Kaur (55th) scored for India's third successive win in the pool stage.
The win ensured a quarter-final berth as India heads the points table with nine points.
The first quarter saw both teams play cautiously. With Malaysia playing defensive hockey, India threaded patiently without making any unforced errors that would give Malaysia an advantage.
Having ended the first quarter in a stalemate, Malaysia put India on the back foot when the team won the first penalty corner of the match in the initial minutes of the second quarter.
However, an alert Rajani Etimarpu made a brilliant save. The next few minutes saw both teams trade penalty corners. While India earned one penalty corner, Malaysia was awarded two but they didn't lead to goals.
Both teams played out evenly in the third quarter as well. Malaysia did not capitalize on another penalty corner the team won, and the third quarter also ended in a stalemate.
The Indian team held its nerves to turn the match around in the fourth quarter and came up with a strong finish. First, forward Katariya scored a sensational field goal in the 54th minute to give India a 1-0 lead.
The following minute saw dragflicker Kaur convert a penalty corner taking India's lead to 2-0 that put pressure on the Malaysian unit.
Though Malaysia won a penalty corner at the start of the fourth quarter, their poor conversion dented their hopes.
Though the Malaysians made desperate attempts to score in the dying minutes of the match, the Indian defense kept away the attackers.