Incheon: India produced an inspired performance to thrash Malaysia 6-1 in their last Pool A match and qualify for the semi-finals of the women's hockey competition at the 17th Asian Games, here today.
For India, Rani Rampal (4th minute, 20th) and Jaspreet Kaur (9th, 39th) score two goals each, while Namita Toppo (17th) and Vandana Kataria (50th) were the other goal getters. Malaysia's lone goal was scored by skipper Nadia Abdul Rahman from a penalty corner.
Indian eves in all likelihood will face last edition's silver medallist Korea in the semi-finals on Sunday as the hosts are presently leading Pool B and are expected to finish as the toppers.
The Indians had to raise their game after the close 1-2 loss against defending champions China in their last match and they did just that.
The Indian eves came out with purpose and controlled the game from the onset with brisk passing. It took the Indians just four minutes to surge ahead when Rani scored from a field effort before Jaspreet doubled the lead five minutes later by converting a penalty corner.
Just two minutes into the second quarter, India tripled their lead when Namita scored a field goal. Rani then added to her tally with another field effort to give her side a comfortable 4-0 lead at the lemon break. Nine minutes into the third quarter, Jaspreet scored with a rasping dragflick from a penalty corner to make the scoreline 5-0 in favour of the Indians.
Malaysia produced their best hockey in the third quarter and managed to pull one back through Nadia, who converted a penalty corner. But 10 minutes from the final whistle, India restored their five-goal lead when Vandana scored a field goal.
From there on victory was just a formality for the Indians eves and they defended stoutly to keep the Malaysians at bay and register a morale-boosting win.