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India Draw with Malaysia




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In a match looked upon as a warm-up for the AFC Challenge Cup, India drew 1-1 with Malaysia in the friendly played in Hyderabad's Lal Bahadur Shastri stadium on Tuesday.

India drew its friendly match with Malaysia, with skipper Baichung Bhutia opening the scoring for India in the 65th minute and Indra Putra Mahayuddin equalising from the penalty spot for Malaysia ten minutes later to make the final score 1-1.

Malaysia would be satisfied with the final result, but the men in blue might feel a bit unlucky, as they had the better chances in front of the goal, and retained possession well throughout the match.

Earlier, the match started at 6.00 PM local time under flood lights in the Lal Bahadur Shastri stadium, with applause from the modest crowd which attended to cheer the Indian team on.

First-half

The hosts started well, and the first fifteen minutes of the match was played in the Malaysian half, with outfield players putting in crosses and long balls into the box for the strikers to chase. India had a chance as early as the first minute, but striker Sunil Chhetri was unable to control the ball. Right-back Surkumar Singh was exceptional in the first-half, as he cut in from the flanks to be present everywhere, and passed the ball with authority.

Malaysia had very little chance to attack, and their attacks came from their left flank, but both Gaurmangi and Surkumar were upto the task, and did not let a single ball pass through and trouble goalkeeper Subrata Pal. India had its first free-kick in the 13th minute, but vice-captain Rennedy Singh lifter the ball over the bar.

The 16th minute saw Indian goalkeeper Subrata Pal come into action for the first time, as he saved a powerful shot from the Malaysian forward to concede a corner. Slowly, the visitors got into their groove, and started making attacks, which resulted in their increased possession and two corners in quick succession, though nothing resulted from either of them. The match was mostly played close to the half-line in the first half, with no side having a clear attempt on goal, and the first-half ended 0-0.

Second-half

The second-half started much as the same as the first half, with both teams playing conservatively. Surkumar Singh was taken off for the Indians, and Sameer Naik came in his place.

Twenty minutes into the second half, India broke the deadlock after striker Sunil Chhetri flicked a pass from Anwar Ali into captain Bhutia's path, and the great Indian made no mistake, which brought out a huge cheer from the crowd. But Baichung was immediately substituted after his goal, and Abhishek Yadav came in his place.

Coach Houghton took advantae of the scoreline, and tried to field as many substitutes as possible, and some quick substitutions were made, as Baichung, Pradeep and Rennedy were substituted. The goal gave the SAFF runners-up confidence, and even the defence started to look more solid, with Anwar Ali and Gourmangi Singh holding their line well.

But Malaysia also was looking for goals, and soon they had their chance, after their forward was tripped in the box. Indra Putra stepped up to take the penalty and sent Subrata Pal the wrong way, thus equalising for his side.

From then on, both teams played for a draw, with no notable attempts on goal from either side.

The match ended in a 1-1 draw, but what is more important from India's perspective is the fact that they put on a solid display and many players got a look-in.

The draw was a fair result, though India would rue the penalty and feel a mite disappointed at not starting with a win.

Indra Putra Mahayuddin scored a late equaliser to help Malaysia draw 1-1 against India in a friendly international in Hyderabad last night.

Indian star striker Bhaichung Bhutia, who had played for Perak and MK Land in the M-League, put the home side ahead in the 65th minute before Indra, the Selangor striker, found the equaliser 10 minutes later.

The national team’s next match is against English Premier League giants Chelsea at the Shah Alam Stadium on July 29.


India Draw with Malaysia Reviewed by admin Ucop on 5:59 PM Rating: 5

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