Indian eves continue to impress in U-18 Asia Cup hockey

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Indian eves continued their unbeaten run as they dished out a clinical display to thrash hosts Malaysia 4-1 in their last round robin Pool B match of the ongoing U-18 Asia Cup hockey tournament on Thursday.

Anupa Barla (13th and 55th minute), Poonam Rani (19th) and Navjot Kaur (57th) sounded the board for India, while Nadia Khan scored the consolation goal for Malaysia in the 64th minute.

India, who alongwith Korea is the only undefeated team in the competition, had already qualified for the semi-final of the event by defeating China on Tuesday.

India will play Japan in the semi-finals tomorrow, while Korea will be up against China in the other last-four stage match.

Today's victory against Malaysia was India's fourth consecutive win in the tournament. They had earlier beaten Kazakhstan 12-0, Sri Lanka 13-0 and China 4-2.

The match between India and Malaysia was played in rain after a delayed start due to waterlogging in the pitch.

But the inclement weather and difficult playing conditions had very little impact on India's game as the forwardline, led by skipper Poonam Rani and supported by Anupa Barla, Neha Goyal and Navjot Kaur made optimum use of the heavy conditions.

The Malaysians attempted to play full press initially but Deep Grace Ekka, Namita Toppo, Nikki Pradhan and Balvinder Kaur Mehra thwarted their onslaughts in the midfield.

Such was India's dominance in the match that custodian Bigan Soy was seldom tested, apart from the goal scored by Nadia, which was a result of a misunderstanding between the two defenders -- Sandeep Kaur and Jaspreet Kaur.

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