Indian goalkeeper Akash Chikte made excellent saves while Rupinder Pal Singh converted two more penalty corners in the tournament as India finished at the top of the table defeating 2nd placed Malaysia in their final game of Pool Stage. Malaysia has one more game left but even a win against South Korea will not help them cross the three-point gap against India, who finished the Pool Stage with 4 wins and a draw, against South Korea, who need a draw tomorrow to finish third ahead of Pakistan and avoid India in the semifinal. With tomorrow being the last day, four semifinalists are decided.
2016 Asian Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy: Complete Schedule and Results
India defeat Malaysia 2-1
Before today both the teams were undefeated and Malaysia needed at least a draw to have a chance to top the pool, with a game to spare. India playing their last game of pool needed a win to finish on top. Their first choice goalkeeper and captain Sreejesh was not to play his second consecutive game due to injury.
His replacement Akash Chikte did not disappoint. He had not conceded any goal against China when India thumped them by 9-0 yesterday. Today, also he made exceptional saves and failed once when Razie Rahim converted a penalty corner to get Malaysia the equalizer.
Before and after the equalizer, it was the magic of Rupinder Pal Singh again. He converted two penalty corners to first get India in the lead in 12th minute and then won them the game with another conversion in 58th minute.
While the highest goal scorer of the tournament, Rupinder Pal Singh took his tally to 12 goals in the tournament, all goals scored by penalty corners, India maintained its unbeaten stretch and will play South Korea or Pakistan in the semifinals.
Tomorrow, South Korea plays Malaysia while Pakistan plays China. Pakistan is currenly placed at 4th with 6 points, a point behind South Korea.
In the other game, South Korea inflicted 4-3 defeat on Japan, who finished 6th losing all five matches. With this win, the Asian Champions Trophy 2016 gets the semifinalists in India, Malaysia, South Korea and Pakistan.
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