India lost the chance of winning a medal at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup as they lost their final league game to Ireland in Ipoh, Malaysia which ensured that they finished fifth in the league table. On Saturday, March 10, India will take on Ireland again in the 5-6 classification playoff match.
After dismal performances against Argentina, England, and Australia in the first three league games of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, India made a strong comeback against Malaysia as they defeated the hosts 5-1 in their fourth league game. With a win over the hosts, they gave themselves a chance to win a medal in the tournament. India
India started the game slowly but went onto take the lead in the 10th minute of the first quarter as Ramandeep Singh managed to score off a penalty corner. Ireland enjoyed a greater possession in the latter stages of the first quarter but could not find any way to break the Indian defence as the score read 1-0 in the favour of the Indian side at the end of the first quarter.
It was Ireland who started off the second quarter on an aggressive note and equalised midway through the second quarter as O'Donoghue scored for them. India’s Amit Rohidas scored his third goal of the tournament when he gave India a 2-1 lead in the 26th minute of the match with the help of yet another penalty corner. India sustained Ireland's pressure as they held onto their one-goal lead while going into the halftime.
India started the third quarter again on an aggressive note but a defensive lapse in the initial stages of the third quarter, allowed Sean Murray score the easiest goal of the tournament helping Ireland to equalise for the second time in the match. A penalty corner in the final minutes of the third quarter gave Ireland a chance to take the lead as Lee Cole converted the same to hand Ireland the first lead of the match.
In the fourth quarter, Indian team failed to convert from the 3 penalty corners awarded to them as the match ended 2-3 in Ireland's favour thus knocking out India’s hopes of winning any medal in the tournament.
As India and Ireland finished at fifth and sixth position respectively after the league stage, they both will now face off tomorrow for a 5-6 classification playoff match in Ipoh in Malaysia.