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Indian colts beat Malaysia in Genting four-nation tournament
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Johor Bahru (PTI): India defeated hosts Malaysia 3-1 in their opening encounter of the Genting four-nation U-21 hockey tournament at Taman Daya Stadium here on Wednesday.

The Indian colts, who led 1-0 at the half time, found the goals through debutant Victo Singh (35th min), skipper Diwakar Ram (47th min) and Jay Karan (50th min), while Ahmad Tajuddin (44th min) was the lone scorer for Malaysia.

India began their proceedings on a fast pace but under constant drizzle and forced a penalty corner in the opening minute after striker Pramod Kumar was obstructed in the striking circle, only to see Diwakar flick the ball straight to the Malaysian custodian Adnan Abdul Hakim.

The Indians were the better side on display and dominated the entire match but Diwakar was not at his usual best and could score only only once from as many as eleven penalty corners.

India should have broken the ice in the eighth minute of the match when Jay Karan was set up by Danish Mujtaba, but the crafty striker failed to drive home the ball.

The match also witnessed both the teams taking time to adapt to the new International Hockey Federation (FIH) free hit rules in the 23 meter area.

The hosts committed numerous defensive lapses and paid the price just before half time when Victo, donning the national colours for the first time, finished off from a Belsajar Horo pass.

But Malaysia came back strongly after the break and found the equaliser from a penalty corner set piece deflection by Tajuddin.

India, however, tightened their belts scoring two goals in a span of three minutes. First, Diwakar sank one low to Hakim's left and then Jay Karan completed the tally after moving in tandem with Pramod Kumar.

India will next play play Singapore tomorrow.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan thrashed Singapore 8-0 in a one-sided encounter.

The goal hunt was led by skipper Haseem Khan (four), Inayatullah, Adeel Husain, Mohd Toufeeq and Umar Mohd Bhutta.

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