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India bow out losing to Malaysia 2-3

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India bow out losing to Malaysia 2-3

They might have nothing other than pride to play for, unlike both opponents they will face in their last matches, but India must leave London with a statement that they can maintain good form beyond just the preliminary stages in global events.

Lola sealed the first victory for Spain in the tournament by converting a penalty corner five minutes later.

"While our first aim is to do well in the pool stage and do well against opponents like South Africa and Argentina, our big aim at the tournament is to qualify for the World Cup next year", Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne said.

Gonzalo Peillat's goal sandwiched in between two efforts from Maico Casella gave the South American side a commanding lead, with Shan Ali's 49th minute strike proving to be little more than a consolation. Malaysia keeper Subramiam came up with a brilliant save to deny Akashdeep Singh when he was set up by Chinglensana for a goal.

With the defeat against Malaysia still fresh in their minds, it remains to be seen how the Indians regroup so quickly.

On the other hand, Argentina has had a dream run and has been undefeated in the competition so far.

Malaysia once against proved to be a thorn in India's flesh. Malaysia pressed hard early on and secured two penalty corners but wasted both the chances.

But if host India finishes in the top five at HWL and wins the 10th Asia Cup this year, another two spots will be offered to the next best placed teams, while if the top 10 finishers at HWL are also continental champions, more places would be available for HWL teams.

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

India conceded seven penalty corners, three of which were converted by Malaysia - Razie Rahim (19th, 48th minutes) and Tengku Tajuddin.

As India took the attack route, Malaysia preferred rely on counter-attacks. The idea was to pass the ball around quickly, not allowing the Malaysians to settle.

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