Malaysia knock India out of HWL Semi-Finals

Lola Riera, meanwhile, was the heroine for Spain scoring two goals - in the 31st minute off a penalty stroke and from a penalty corner in the 36th minute.

Since only the top eight teams will rub shoulders at the HWL Final Round, the top four teams from London and Johannesburg will advance, but if the host India fail to qualify on merit, only seven top teams from both HWL Semifinal rounds will advance based on the International Hockey Federation's (FIH) current rankings.

All three Malaysian goals came from penalty corner conversions. The Indians only had themselves to blame as a below-par opening 20 minutes and some sloppy defence ruined their hopes.

The qualification for the World Cup in 2018 is a bit complicated - with continental events like the Asia Cup in Bangladesh later this year also guaranteeing qualification for the champions - but a fifth-place finish in London will seal a spot for the tournament in Bhubaneswar next year. A minute later, Malaysia doubled their lead against the run of play as Tengku Tajuddin neatly deflected in from their fourth penalty corner.

Malaysia once against proved to be a thorn in India's flesh. Malaysia found the victor with Rahim converting yet another short corner in the 48th minute and they managed to maintain their lead. Argentina had earlier in the day defeated Pakistan in the first quarterfinal match.

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Tajuddin doubled Malaysia's lead in the very next minute when he fired home from another penalty corner. Talwinder Singh picked a long ball from captain Manpreet Singh in the scoring zone, but directed his shot wide to the right as the third quarter did not produce a goal.

Both Pool A matches were draws as China and Scotland could not be separated at 1-1, while South Korea's clash with Italy ended goalless.

Another area which would be high on Oltmans' mind is the unimpressive performance of young Harmanpreet Singh from penalty corners.

In the final minute of the game, an unmarked Ramandeep had a golden chance to score his hat-trick and take the match into shoot-out but his deflection in front of an open Malaysian goal was wide by inches.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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