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Asian Games: In-form India Take on Malaysia in Hockey Semis, Look to Banish Ghost of Guangzhou

The Indian team will look to enter their 13th final when they take on Malaysia in the last four of the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta, on Thursday. The 'Men in Blue' have been in imperious form at the Games so far and will look to carry that momentum into the match against their less-heralded opponents.

Pratik Sagar | News18 Sports

Updated:August 30, 2018, 3:14 PM IST
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Asian Games: In-form India Take on Malaysia in Hockey Semis, Look to Banish Ghost of Guangzhou
File image of the Indian men's hockey team. (Image: Twitter)
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The Indian team will look to enter their 13th final when they take on Malaysia in the last four of the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta, on Thursday. The 'Men in Blue' have been in imperious form at the Games so far and will look to carry that momentum into the match against their less-heralded opponents.

When Team India left for the Games in Jakarta, they were touted as the firm favourites to successfully defend their crown and living up to the expectations, the team — under the tutelage of Harendra Singh — has been on a rampage, decimating every opposition that dared to come in front of them and also scoring 76 goals in the process.

But the one thing that the team will have to be on guard against is complacency. The PR Sreejesh-led side hasn’t been put to test by the visibly weaker Asian sides. They have outplayed every opposition in attack and defence with utmost ease. Not just that, almost every player has contributed to the team’s domination, leave alone goal-keepers, who haven’t been challenged at all.

Come the semis, India will look for a repeat of their group stage performance, in this clash against Malaysia. Past record also suggests that they won't have to break their sweat as in 11 Asian Games matches against Malaysia, India have been on the winning side 10 times.

But Malaysia's only win over India at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games must sting the 'Men in Blue' the most, as that loss ensured India were out in the semi-finals and eventually, had to be content will bronze. Therefore, an added incentive for the Indian team will to avenge that infamous defeat, if the idea of sealing a place in the final in not enough to spur them on.

| Edited by: Abhimanyu Sen
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