New Delhi: Vandana Kataria struck twice as India beat Malaysia 3-0 to register their second consecutive win in the women's competition of the Hero Hockey World League Round 2 at the floodlit Major Dhyan Chand Stadium here Tuesday. Contrary to the final outcome of the game, the Indians were far from impressive against Malaysia today as they were expected to win big against a side which is ranked 10 places below them in the world rankings.
The Indian eves looked tired and jaded today and their performance against Malaysia was nowhere near to their 8-0 drubbing of Kazakhstan last night. Malaysia might have started the match as underdogs but they gave the 12th ranked Indians a run for their money by dominating the early share of exchanges, at least for the first eight minutes of the game.
After sitting back for a brief period in the initial stages of the match, it was India who drew the first blood in the ninth minute when Vandana deflected in Jaspreet Kaur's hit from the hosts' first penalty corner. The Malaysians made some promising forays into the Indian 'D' thereafter but their forwards lacked vision and purpose.
Malaysia got a golden opportunity to equalise in the 25th minute but Azlin Nor Sumantri missed a sitter as she had Indian goalkeeper Yogita Bali in a one-on-one situation. Sprinting down the flank after intercepting Joydeep in the midfield, Sumantri just had to beat an onrushing Yogita but the Malaysian forward misdirected her gentle push even after getting the better of the Indian custodian to trail by a goal at the half-way stage.