Diwakar scores four goals as India hold Malaysia 5-5

January 17th, 2009 - 5:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Jan 17 (IANS) Skipper Diwakar Ram scored four goals, including a hat-trick, as India juniors fought back to hold Malaysia 5-5 in a preliminary round game of the men’s hockey tournament of the Australian Youth Olympic Festival here Saturday.India have already qualified for Sunday’s final where they meet Australia.

The last league match saw fortunes fluctuating as both team were locked 3-3 at half-time.

India grabbed an early lead with a strike by Jay Karan in the seventh minute.

Malaysia drew level two minutes later as Abdul Gaffar beat Indian custodian Mrinal Chaubey.

Ram sank in India’s second goal in the 19th minute off a penalty corner, but the joy was shortlived as Ahmad Tajuddin restored parity in the 21st minute.

The Indian captain put his team ahead again three minutes later, drag flicking with precision past the Malaysian goalkeeper.

The tenacious Malaysians fought back as Abdul Gaffar netted one from a corner in the 33rd minute to make it 3-3.

Malaysia surprised the crowd with two quick goals within a minute early in the second half. Makbul Singh and Abdul Hamid both scored in the 39th minute to give Malaysia a two goal cushion.

Shocked by this sudden reversal, India made repeated forays into the Malaysian circle only to be thwarted by an alert defence.

However Ram was able to narrow the margin in the 61st minute to record a hat-trick before converting another penalty corner three minutes from the end.

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