India’s cutting edge helped them see off Malaysia in the key game of day two of the Hero Hockey World League Round Two 2013 in Delhi, moving into a share of top spot with Japan.
Vandana Katariya gave India the lead in just the eighth minutes into the tie when she got a great touch in front of the goalkeeper and post-woman to ramp up Joydeep Kaur’s swept penalty corner. Her side enjoyed the better of possession and territory from there but it was Malaysia who created the clearer openings.
Nor Azlin Sumantri broke free from the halfway to go one-on-one with Yogita Bali but the goalkeeper did not fall for her dummy and the striker slipped the ball wide. A sliding Nurul Nabihah Mansor could not redirect a first time shot on target while Sumantri was clean through again only for the half time hooter to end her run forward.
India, by contrast, were more clinical. They conceded a corner 50 seconds into the second half but Bali saved well, helping to launch a swift counter-attack which ended with Anupa Barla laying on a perfectly weighted pass for player of the match Katariya to dive onto, artfully chipping over the grounded Farah Ayuni Yahya. Another corner effort was deflected into side-netting, many of the crowd deceived by the ripple of the net, believing it to be 3-0.
Again, Malaysia had a clear sight of goal when Rabiatil Adawiyah Mohamed was left unmarked but Bali saved and Fazilla Sylvester Silin fizzed across the face of goal with the follow-up. But, again, India made their pressure tell when Rani rounded on a chance six yards out and duly smashed home.