U-18 Asia Cup: India beats Malaysia, tops group

India continued its fine run in the fourth Women’s U-18 Asia Cup, beating Malaysia 3-1 in its final group match to top Pool A here on Monday.

Both teams were slow to start off the blocks, but India exhibiting control and held the possession.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

India continued its fine run in the fourth Women’s U-18 Asia Cup, beating Malaysia 3-1 in its final group match to top Pool A here on Monday.

Both teams were slow to start off the blocks, but India exhibiting control and held the possession.

India even managed to have several penetrations into the circle, but failed to create a clear chance for a goal.

Malaysia, meanwhile, earned the first penalty corner of the match but India’s defence closed the drag flick down quickly, forcing it wide of the mark.

Soon after, India scored off its first PC to give the team a deserved lead. Manpreet Kaur deflected the disguised pass from the dragflick with a superb first time touch into the bottom corner.

The teams went into halftime with India leading 1-0.

India increased the pace of the play in the second half and started making inroads into Malaysia’s stubborn defence.

They doubled their lead with another PC in the 39th minute.

India’s first shot was blocked by the Malaysian defenders but in the ensuing tussle, the ball fell in front of Poonam, who slotted home from within two yards.

Malaysia struck back with a goal in the 40th minute with Nuramirah Shakirah scoring off a counter attack.

However, India widened the deficit in the 46th minute via a superbly constructed goal finished by Lalremsiami.

Manpreet’s driving pass into the circle was flicked on by Sangita Kumari, and a diving Lalremsiami guided the ball into the goal to give India a 3-1 lead.

From there on India held on to the possession comfortably and stifled Malaysia’s attempts at a comeback.