India came from being 2-0 down to defeat Malaysia 4-2 at the Taman Daya Stadium tonight.
It was a case of the home team making silly mistakes in defence that allowed their opponents to collect all three points.
“ We made some structural and tactical changes after being 2-0 down by keeping experienced players longer on the pitch,” said India coach B J Kariappa.
“ Mandeep provides the leadership qualities to spur the players and that helped to soothe their nerves.”
Malaysia got off to a flying start, scoring two goals within the space of a minute.
The first was a beauty of a deflection by Mohd Syafiq Hassan in the 8th minute.
Hardly had the cheers died down that Malaysia added a second, courtesy of a penalty corner converted by Mohd Arrifin Zainuddin.
But instead of playing with confidence, the home team however went into a defensive mode.
And India given the space and time started looking dangerous.
They narrowed the deficit in the 19th minute via a penalty stroke converted by Rahul Rajhbar.
And by the 33rd minute India were level with Pratap Lakra scoring from a penalty corner.
And that gave India the confidence to move into a more offensive mode.
They scored another penalty corner, this time through Shilanand Lakra in the 39th minute for a 3-2 lead.
Uttam Singh made it 4-2 , scoring in the final minute.
“ Our players lack of experience in international Hockey and that showed today,” said Malaysian coach Nor Saiful Nasiruddin.
“ We had several chances that we failed to put away.”