India beats Malaysian Blues in AHL

India extended its lead through Gurjant Singh, who scored with a fine deflection. In the 42nd minute, India made the scoreline 4-1 in its favour when Armaan scored his second goal of the day.

India will play South Australia in its next Pool B encounter tomorrow.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Armaan Qureshi struck twice to guide India’s junior men team to a 4-2 win over Malaysian Blues in its opening match of the Australian Hockey League, here today. It was the Malaysian Blues who started on a positive note and exerted pressure on the Indian defence from the beginning.

The Malaysian outfit won its first penalty corner of the game in the fourth minute and was quick to take the lead through Faizal Saari. India gathered momentum quickly and had two bright scoring chances but the Malaysian defence led by goalkeeper Mohd Hafizuddin Othman stood tall.

Despite several more turnovers, and another penalty corner for India, it was Malaysia who went into the first break with a one-goal advantage. India started off stronger in the second quarter, and was dictated the tempo of the play.

After a long spell of possession, India earned another penalty corner. Varun Kumar’s drag flick from was saved on the line, but from the rebound Armaan scored with a diving effort level the scores. The equaliser shifted the momentum completely as India showed greater urgency and mounted continuous raids.

The relentless pressure paid off within minutes as India secured another penalty corner and this time Varun was on the mark with a high flick into the top corner. India went into half time with a 2-1 lead having started the game on slow note.

India extended its lead through Gurjant Singh, who scored with a fine deflection. India kept up the pressure through the quarter, while the Malaysians pressed hard for goals. In the 42nd minute, India made the scoreline 4-1 in its favour when Armaan scored his second goal of the day.

Malaysia, however, did not give up without a fight as Saari converted another penalty corner in the fourth quarter but the Indians did enough to hold on to the lead and garner their full points from the game. India will play South Australia in its next Pool B encounter tomorrow.