They need to start firing as the HWL Semi Final also happens to be a qualifying tournament for the 2018 Women's World Cup in London.
Though India were tipped as favourites to win, a stubborn Malaysian outfit kept India in the hunt the right from the beginning. Ramandeep Singh's double strike went in vain as India went down 3-2 in a quarterfinal match of Hero Hockey World League semifinal on Thursday.
All of Malaysia's goals came from penalty corners, and both of India's goalkeepers, Vikas Dahiya and Akash Chikte, were beaten at least on one occasion by the sting in the drag-flick of Razie Rahim.
In the first semi-final, Argentina will face off Malaysia on Saturday and England will lock horns with Netherlands in the other semi-final on the same day.
The Malaysian team made their Indian opponents pay for a series of uncharacteristic errors on their way to a shock win at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The first quarter ended goalless with Malaysia controlling the proceedings. Malaysia doubled the advantage via Tengku Tajuddin with another penalty corner in the 20th minute.
Malaysia will square-off with Argentina in the semi-final match on Saturday after the 2014 World Cup semifinalist defeated Pakistan 3-1 in another quarter-final match. They have not had enough possession in any of their games, but when on the break, players such as Muhammad Irfan, Ali Shan, Muhammad Arslan Qadir and Muhammad Umar Bhutta have the ability to ask questions of the opposition defence.
India nearly made it level in the dying minutes of the game, but an unfortunate deflection by Ramandeep at the goalpost put paid to India's hopes.
India did manage to create a few opening even as Malaysia fell back to defend the lead, but the strikers sprayed the shots wide.
With the score board reading 2-2 at half-time, the third quarter began with India trying to keep up their momentum. Akashdeep Singh could have restored parity in the 53rd minute when he picked up Chinglensana's pass inside the circle, but only for his reverse drive going wide of the right post.
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This win has ensured India a quarter-final berth in the tournament though they still have to play against Netherlands on Tuesday. The lone goal for Pakistan came through Umar Bhutta three minutes from the hooter when the contest was already lost.
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