Ipoh [Malaysia], May 5 : It was a day of upset for the visitors as Malaysia walked away with a 1-0 win against India here at the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Tournament 2017 on Friday.
Backed by a boisterous home crowd, Malaysia held India right till the final quarter until Shahril Saabah (51') helped take the lead and eventually won the match.
With Great Britain winning their match against New Zealand 3-2 and jumping to the second position in the points table, India had to beat Malaysia by a margin of two goals or more to ensure their spot in the final, however, they failed to pull off victory after the hosts put up an intense fight.
After having gone into the first break in a stalemate, India earned a penalty corner (PC) within seconds of the second quarter.
But Malaysian keeper Kumar Subramiam successfully padded away a powerful sweep by India's ace dragflicker Rupinder Pal Singh.
Subramiam was busy all throughout the quarter. He made an important save when Talwinder Singh, assisted by Affan Yousuf, took a shot on goal in the 22nd minute.
A back stick on the ball by Malaysian defender in the striking circle saw India win their second PC in the 23rd minute, but the Malaysian rushers did well to deny Rupinder Pal Singh a goal.
The hosts' defence continued to impress as India's third attempt on PC was denied too ending the second quarter goalless.
Malaysia played a determined game with good defence that continued to test the Indian players. They won their first PC of the match in the 34th minute, a handy work by Faizal Saari who found Sardar Singh's foot in the circle but a goal was denied.
Malaysia won another PC, but defender Rupinder Pal Singh ensured the flick didn't reach the post. With the clock ticking away, India were desperate for a breakthrough. Entering the final quarter, Malaysia continued to enforce pressure on India. India's won a PC in the 49th minute, but they couldn't convert with the flick going wide. They won another PC when Fitri Saari found Manpreet Singh's foot in the circle. Malaysia was able to capitalize this opportunity with Shahril Saabah successfully converting the PC in the 51st minute to take a 1-0 lead.
A PC in the 56th minute brought some hope for India. It was SV Sunil who helped win the PC, but a goal was denied after Harmanpreet Singh's flick was saved by Malaysian defenders.
Another PC came India's way with just three minutes for the final hooter, but a variation in set piece saw Rupinder pass to Sardar Singh who couldn't find the post, thus ending India's hope to earn the final berth.
India will now take on New Zealand on Saturday to determine the third and fourth position in the match.