New Delhi, 29 August: India overpowered Malaysia 9-5 to enter the final of the Women’s Asian Hockey 5s World Cup Qualifier in Salalah, Oman, on Monday.
As the top three teams from this tournament will qualify for next year's Hockey 5s World Cup, India by making it to the final has booked one of those berths.
Navjot Kaur (7’, 10, 17’), Monika Dipi Toppo (22’), Mahima Choudhary (14’), Mariana Kujur (9’, 12’) and Jyoti (21’, 26’) scored for India. Zati Muhamad (4’, 5’), Dian Nazeri (10’, 20’) and Aziz Zafirah (16’) were on target for Malaysia.
India started the match aggressively right from the start. However, it was Malaysia that broke the deadlock and took the lead through Zati Muhamad (4’) after she successfully converted the Challenge Goal. A minute later, Malaysia doubled their lead as Zati Muhamad (5’) was on the scoresheet again, scoring a fine field goal. India pulled one back through Captain Navjot Kaur’s strike (7’).
In-form Mariana Kujur (9’) then flawlessly converted the Challenge Goal to level the scores. With both teams constantly creating threatening attacks, Malaysia took the lead through Dian Nazeri (10’).
India immediately counter-attacked and scored two goals in quick time to take the lead. Captain Navjot Kaur (10’) and Mariana Kujur (12’) scored the third and fourth goals for India. With a minute remaining in the first half, India extended their lead through Mahima Choudhary (14’). At the end of the first half, India was 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 Aziz Zafirah (16’) after she converted the Challenge Goal.
India added three more goals to their tally through Navjot Kaur (17’), Jyoti (21’) and Monika Dipi Toppo (22’) to make it 8-5 to India. With four minutes remaining, Jyoti (26’) scored the ninth goal for India.