HWL: India beat Malaysia, share spot with Japan
New Delhi, Feb 19 : India's cutting edge helped them see off Malaysia in the key game of day two of the women's Hero Hockey World League Round Two 2013 here Tuesday.
With win India moved into a share of top spot with Japan.
Vandana Katariya gave India the lead in just the eight 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 the 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.
Meanwhile, in other matches of the day, Japan blanked Kazakhstan 11-0 while Russia tharshed Fiji 9-0.
Japan cruised to a second big win to sit at the head of the women's Hero Hockey World League Round 2 2013 table, making it 25 goals scored and none conceded from two outings.
They played at an intensity that was a cut above Kazakhstan, indicative of their world ranking of ninth in the world as opposed to the Kazakhs who are 33rd.
Mazuki Arai broke the deadlock just five minutes in from close range before Shiho Sakai added to her tournament tally with a vicious low drag-flick.
Further goals from Miyuki Nakagawa and Yuri Nagai made it 4-0, the latter with a super finish from a fine team move and it was 6-0 at half-time, Arai with her second while Kumi Banda also got in on the act.
Arai completed her hat trick two minutes into the second half while an own goal and strikes from Ayaka Nishimura, Akiko Ota and captain Rika Komazawa saw the rest of the goals shared around.
Russia recorded their first win when they saw off Fiji, bouncing back from their defeat to Malaysia a day earlier.
The Oceania side endured a double blow in the ninth minute when Soko Salaniqiqi - a dual international sports star having also represented her country at athletics - was forced off injured on a stretcher.
From the ensuing penalty corner, Alina Krasnoperova scrambled in at the third attempt for the game's opening goal. And the Russians were to move four clear by the interval as Yana Doronina netted once while Ekaterina Shaburova was on the mark twice.
Their control continued into the second half with Krasnoperova completing a hat-trick and Doronina netting the pick of the goals on her backhand from the top of the circle.
It extended the lead to nine despite the excellent work of Susana Mudunatagi between the posts as Russia shook off their loss to Malaysia.