China have qualified for the Hockey World Cup for the first time, thanks to favourable results at the ongoing Hero Asia Cup in Dhaka, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) said on Sunday. Manpreet Singh-led India, who remained unbeaten in the tournament, started on a positive note and dominated till the very end to win their third Asia Cup title.
India had moved to the final of the tournament by beating Pakistan 4-0. The team started the match aggressively, making clear that their intention was to win the title against the second highest ranked team in Asia.
Malaysia trailed India 0-2 in the first half.
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Satbir Singh (39th minute), Harmanpreet Singh (51), Lalit Upadhyay (52) and Gurjant Singh (57) scored for India. India were off to a flyer as SV Sunil and Ramandeep Singh combined to give India an early lead in the third minute. But the Malaysians fought valiantly and their efforts bore fruit in the 50th minute when Shahril Saabah pulled one goal back. The Indian team got ample opportunities in the third quarter but could not take full toll of that. The Malaysian goalkeeper also joined the attack in the dying moments but they could not break the Indian defence and had to be content with the runners-up trophy - their best ever finish in this continental competition. He added the victory was possible because of the team work they put in. The score was 2-1 heading into the last ten minutes of the game.
"Playing in this way, and in this order, helps us protect the sporting principles of the Asian Cup final qualifying round".