Lalremsiami goal gives India lead in bilateral series against Malaysia

Lalremsiami struck a late goal as Indian women’s hockey team beat host Malaysia to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match bilateral series.

File photo of Lalremsiami in action during India's match against Thailand at the Asian Games 2018.   -  AFP Photo

Lalremsiami struck a late goal as Indian women’s hockey team beat host Malaysia to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match bilateral series here.

India won the first two matches 3-0 and 5-0 followed by a 4-4 draw in their previous game.

Lalremsiami’s sensational 55th-minute goal ensured the team secured a narrow win in a hard-fought contest that saw Malaysia give it all to put up a defensive game.

Though it was Malaysia who made a strong start with an early penalty corner (PC) in the first minute of the game, a very alert India goalkeeper Savita made a good save.

India too earned a PC in the following minute but did not succeed. With India’s ace dragflicker Gurjit Kaur missing the tour due to an injury, they lost out on five penalty corner opportunities in this game.

But the team did well to sustain pressure with tight marking inside the circle giving Malaysia no real chance to take a shot on goal.

Having missed out on PCs, India looked for a potential opportunity, and Navneet Kaur set up a splendid goal for Lalremsiami who made a diving effort to help India win.

“We played very good third and fourth quarter where we created good scoring opportunities. This is something we want to execute much better tomorrow and especially improve our on-field decision making,” expressed Sjoerd Marijne, the team’s chief coach.

Speaking about leading 3-0 in the series, Marijne said, “Winning is fine but what’s more important for me if that we play good, structured hockey. If we tick the right boxes, winning will eventually happen and I would like to see us end the last match tomorrow on the same lines as we played the third and fourth quarters today-- fewer mistakes and good energy.”